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Set up and electrotypcd. Published February, 1907. 


J. 8. Cashing & Co. Berwick & Smith Co. 
Norwood, Mass., U.S.A. 


SINCE the appearance of the first volume of this edition so 
many new documents have been discovered by the diligent 
investigations of scholars, and generously furnished from 
private collections, that it has become an embarrassing 
problem to include both the -new and the old within the limits 
of the work as originally proposed. I have been forced 
reluctantly to abandon my cherished plan of a comprehensive 
biography of Franklin, and to content myself with a more 
meagre outline of the story of his life. The publication of 
his works in their original integrity is the object of first 
importance, and to that end all other causes must give way. 
Moreover, Franklin's writings are his best biography, a fact 
recognized by Mr. Bigelow, who, in his "Life of Franklin," 
has allowed the great man through his Memoirs and his 
correspondence " almost miraculously preserved from in- 
calculable perils" to tell his own story. In the sketch of 
personal and political history contained in the present 
volume, I have been as brief as was consistent with clearness, 
because I have had small space at my command, and because 
it has seemed unnecessary to quote from documents which 
exist in the previous volumes of this work. 

In the writing of the biography I have been chiefly indebted 
to the late lamented Henri Doniol, whose monumental work, 
"Histoire de la Participation de la France a PEtablissement 
des Etats-Unis d'Amerique," is one of the triumphs of histori- 


cal research. "The Life of Franklin," by James Parton, is a 
work of much labour and learning which has fallen into un- 
merited neglect. I have found the Vicomte de Noailles' " Ma- 
rins et Soldats Franfais en Ame'rique " frequently helpful. 

The second centenary of the birth of Franklin was made in 
1906 the occasion of extraordinary honours and unprecedented 
commemorations. Anniversary feasts and elaborate cele- 
brations continued hi ever increasing interest in many parts of 
America, from their beginning in the first week of the year until 
their stately culmination hi the august proceedings of the 
month of April hi Paris and the splendid ceremonials of the 
same tune in Philadelphia. The State of Pennsylvania made 
a liberal appropriation to The American Philosophical Society 
to defray the cost of the latter celebration, at which one hun- 
dred and twenty-seven societies and institutions of learning 
in Europe and America were represented. A gold medal, 
designed by Louis and Augustus St. Gaudens, was struck 
by order of Congress and presented, under the direction of 
the President of the United States, to the Republic of France. 

In Paris a statue of Franklin, the gift of Mr. John H. Harjes, 
was unveiled at the entrance into the Place du Trocade'ro of 
the rue Franklin, on which the philosopher and statesman 
dwelt during his stay at Passy. Two ex-presidents of the 
French Republic and one of the United States, distinguished 
officials and diplomatists of world-wide fame, constituted a 
Committee of Honour to add brilliancy to the fete. The cele- 
bration took place in the salle des etes of the Palace of the 
Trocade'ro in the presence of nearly five thousand persons 
and almost all the high officials of the French government and 
the ministers and ambassadors of foreign powers. A dis- 
tinguished French orator and cabinet minister was chosen 


by the French government to deliver a eulogy, and the editor 
of this work was appointed by President Roosevelt as the 
spokesman of the United States. I have drawn occasionally 
in the course of this volume upon my oration delivered upon 
that occasion, and I have sometimes quoted from a series of 
articles upon "Franklin's Social Life in France," contributed 
by me to Putnam's Monthly, for, as the old Greek proverb 
runs, Si? Se OVK evSe^erai. 

In the preface to the first volume I announced the publica- 
tion of a manuscript by Franklin relating to the early Ameri- 
can plantations. It is a document of the year 1731, and is, 
next to the Autobiography, the most extensive yet found in 
Franklin's handwriting. It was discovered among the papers 
recently acquired by the University of Pennsylvania. Fur- 
ther research has resulted in the discovery that it was really 
written by James Logan and was a memorial sent by him to 
Robert Walpole. It is a document of much interest and sin- 
gularly wise and prophetic, but as it is demonstrably not by 
Franklin it does not appear in this work. Another promise, 
I regret to say, remains unfulfilled. The most diligent search 
has failed to find the letter in Cremona written by Franklin to 
Lorenzo Manini (Vol. I, p. 12). My friend Signor Novati, 
the distinguished scholar of Milan, a native of Cremona, 
personally assisted the librarian in the search ; but they have 
been obliged to conclude that the precious document has been 
lost or stolen from the library. 

One instance of the duplication of an article appears in 
Volume IX; number 1482 and number 1491 (pp. 174 and 
189) are identical. The first of these had already been 
printed from Mr. Bigelow's edition when the original letter 
was found in the British Museum and it is here faithfully 


copied. It will be noticed that the letter was actually writ- 
ten three weeks later than the date hitherto ascribed to it. 

Certain spurious letters of Franklin exist, and have occa- 
sionally, as in the Vraine-Lucas forgeries, deceived the edi- 
tors of his works. Such a letter is found in "Joseph and 
Benjamin, a Conversation, translated from a French Manu- 
script" (printed at the logographic press for J. Murray, 
No. 32, Fleet Street, 1787), in which, writing from Boston, 
under date of May 27, 1786, to the Emperor Joseph, Frank- 
lin proposes to invite one of the sons of the king of England 
to be king of America. Two fictitious letters are in "La 
Cassette Verte de M. Sartine, trouve*e chez Mademoiselle 
du The'" (a la Haye, 1779). One of these is in French 
(p. 33) ; the other, likewise addressed to M. de Sartine, is in 
English and concludes: "I am insulted in all the languages 
of Europe. My religion is satirized in Italian. My politics 
in Spanish and Dutch. I hear Washington ridiculed in 
Russian, and myself in all the jargon of Germany. I cannot 
bear it. Make Europe civil to America, or I'll follow Silas 

It is often said that the famous song, (a ira, of the French 
Revolution had its origin with Benjamin Franklin, and the 
statement has been as often denied (see Vol. X, pp. 362-363). 
In a little book entitled " Inauguration de la Maison commune 
d'Auteuil, Paris, Imprimerie du Cercle Social" (1792), it is 
told that upon the opening of the new mairee, or maison com- 
mune of Auteuil, in August, 1792, the effigies of great men 
were carried in procession from the old house to the new, and 
that a band of music accompanied the bust of Franklin, 
playing, by order of the municipal agent, M. Pierre Antoine 
Benoit, the air of ga ira. 


A debated incident in the later life of Franklin I have not 
mentioned. A college in Pennsylvania, having taken his name, 
received a munificent gift from him, and it is said that he 
actually made the journey to Lancaster to attend the laying 
of the corner stone. No record of that visit exists at what 
is now Franklin and Marshall College. The ceremonies 
attending the inauguration were in 1787, and Franklin was 
then suffering so severely from gout and stone that an ex- 
pedition to the State House, an eighth of a mile from his 
home, was a formidable enterprise. He could not ride in a 
carriage even before his return from Paris, and he was carried 
from that city to Havre upon a litter. He was borne about 
in Philadelphia in 1788 in a sedan chair, and he regretted 
that he had not brought with him to America a balloon which, 
held captive in a servant's hand, would have furnished him 
with the easiest locomotion. No jot of evidence exists that 
he was ever out of Philadelphia after he entered the city amid 
the acclamations of his fellow-townsmen upon his return 
from France, nor does it seem within the bounds of possi- 
bility that he could have endured a journey of seventy miles 
in a carriage over the rough roads of Pennsylvania. Never- 
theless, Crevecceur relates in his "Voyage dans la haute 
Pensylvanie " (Vol. I, p. 26), that he accompanied Franklin 
upon his visit to Lancaster, and that upon the day of the 
ceremony one of the principal inhabitants of the town in- 
quired concerning the origin of the Indian tribes and asked 
whether they were really autochthonous, whereupon Frank- 
lin discoursed upon the mounds and fortifications of the an- 
cient people of the country. It is at least a curious coincidence 
that in a letter written February 2, 1788, the due de la Roche- 
foucauld told Franklin that he had received from Crevecceur 


an account of ancient fortifications discovered at the con- 
fluence of the Muskingum and the Ohio. Abbe* Morellet, 
in a letter dated July 31, 1787, refers to the Lancaster cere- 
monies, but it appears that Franklin had sent to him a 
pamphlet printed upon the occasion and descriptive of the 

"In the dedication of your college in the County of Lan- 
caster," writes Morellet, "and the fine procession, and the 
religious ceremony, where were met together Presbyterians, 
Episcopalians, Lutherans, Catholics, Moravians, e tutti 
quanti, there was toleration in practice. I have translated 
the whole of the pamphlet which you sent me and had it 
inserted in our Mercury." 

Crevecceur was a truthful man, and it is to be hoped that 
some lucky find will clear away the doubt and obscurity 
that gather about the journey to Lancaster. 

It will be noticed that I have adopted throughout these 
volumes the Austrian way of spelling the name of INGEN- 
HOUSZ. In the published works of that distinguished philos- 
opher, and hi the authorized translations of them, the name 
is spelled INGEN Housz. He signed himself INGENHOUSZ, 
and sometimes in familiar letters J. Housz. A descendant of 
this illustrious man, Dr. Oskar, Freiherr von Mitis, an official 
of the K. und K. Haus-, Hof- und Staatsarchiv, with great and 
generous kindness, sent me a strange manuscript volume en- 
titled "Consultatio Medica super proprium morbum auto- 
grapha Benjamini Franklin ad joannem Ingenhousz." The 
volume contains two manuscripts, the first consisting of 
seventy-six pages and containing about seventeen thousand 
words. The second is an amplification and extension of the 
first and written in an almost microscopic hand, its seventy 


pages containing not less than seventy-eight thousand words. 
The first part Caput I. De Natura Morbi is in the hand- 
writing of the elder Jacquin, Nikolaus Josef, the celebrated 
botanist. The second part, beginning Pathologies Pars 
prima, is believed in Germany to have been written either by 
Ingenhousz, the uncle of Jacquin, or by Franklin. Upon the 
paper cover is written "Has immortalis viri reliquias sociis 
et amicis religiose asservandas tradit" (signed) Jacquin. 
Freiherr von Mitis assures me that this is unquestionably 
in the handwriting of Jacquin, and that there can be no doubt 
of his love of truth. The cover is slightly scorched, for 
the manuscript was rescued from the fire, together with a 
few other papers, in 1848 by Karl von Schreiber, son-in-law 
of Jacquin. Since 1852 this mysterious volume has been in 
the possession of the family of Von Mitis, and although 
it has been frequently examined no information has been 
obtained concerning its origin. It corresponds with no 
known writing of Ingenhousz or Franklin. It is identical 
with no other manuscript. And yet the testimony of Jac- 
quin is precise and reverent, and the document has never 
departed from the descendants of Ingenhousz. 

Information concerning the identity of the Bishop of Tri- 
comia, to whom Franklin addressed a letter dated April 22, 
1777, reached me too late to be printed in its proper place 
(Vol. VII, p. 43). The information kindly supplied by 
Monsignor Veccia, secretary of the Congregation of the 
Propaganda at Rome, was obtained from the Archives of the 
Propaganda. The Bishop is there named "Revmus Pater 
Dominus Petrus Joseph Perreau Bisuntina? [Besancon] 
Dioccesios electus Episcopus Tricomien : in Consistorio diei 
17 Juliis 1775 da Pio VI Braschi." 


In the Appendix to Volume V (p. 553), I have printed 
Franklin's "Observations on Maize or Indian Corn." In 
a footnote I stated that the date of its composition was un- 
known. I have since learned from a letter in the collection 
of The American Philosophical Society that it was written in 
the spring of 1785, and sent to the famous French chemist, 
Cade"t de Vaux, for publication in the Journal de Paris, 
"I send herewith some Observations on the Use of that 
Grain, of which you are at Liberty to make such Use as you 
may think proper" (April 28, 1785). 

I have not attempted to prepare a list of misprints, and most 
of those that I have noted are so obvious that they scarcely 
need correction. But the mind plays us sometimes sorry 
tricks. In the carefully and frequently read proof-sheets 
of Mrs. Cowden-Clarke's "Concordance to Shakespeare," 
a notable error escaped the watchful eyes of all the practised 
readers: "I Pandulph of fair Milan Cardinal" became 
and remained by the power of pictorial suggestion resident 
in the name of the fair Italian city, "of fair Milan cathe- 
dral." By a like tyranny of historic suggestion the name of 
Nemours called to mind memories of that lofty line of French 
nobles, and in the preface to my first volume Dupont de 
Nemours, "physiocrat" and accomplished gentleman, was 
invested with the titular dignity of the dukes of Nemours, 
an honour which neither his high abilities or his personal 
worth required to secure for him a high and an abiding sta- 
tion in the file of mankind. 

Twenty portraits of Franklin have appeared hi this work. 
They form an interesting though small collection of his many 
counterfeit presentments. After Napoleon and Washington 
no great public character has been so often and diversely 


portrayed. Not less than six hundred portraits of him exist. 
He told his daughter that medallions and pictures, busts and 
prints, had made her father's face as well known as that of 
the moon, so that he durst not do anything that would oblige 
him to run away, as his phiz would discover him wherever 
he should venture to show it. He added, "it is said by 
learned etymologists that the name doll for the images chil- 
dren play with, is derived from the word IDOL. From the 
number of dolls now made of him, he may be truly said, in 
that sense to be i-dott-ized in this country." And yet he was 
reluctant to yield to the solicitations of artists ; he told Digges 
that he was "perfectly sick" of sitting for his portrait, and 
that he knew nothing so tedious as sitting for hours in one 
fixed position. He was constantly asked for his portrait, 
and in reply to such a query from his friend Fournier, he 
said that he was neither so rich or so vain as to pay eight or 
ten louis apiece to give them as presents. 

His own favourites were the portraits made by Duplessis 
(Vol. I) and Chamberlin (Vol. IV). The former was orig- 
inally painted for M. Le Ray de Chaumont; numerous 
copies of it exist, one of which was purchased by Mr. Bige- 
low from the descendants of M. le Veillard. The Cham- 
berlin portrait has been often copied and has suffered many 
changes. A copy of it was prefixed to the French edition 
of Franklin's works in 1773, and its Gallic features caused 
Franklin to write to his wife that "though a copy of that of 
Chamberlin [it] has got so French a countenance that you 
would take me for one of that lively nation." 

Caleb Whitefoord, who himself had drawn a picture of 
Franklin which the subject of the sketch declared was "black 
nnd all black," gave a commission in 1782 to Joseph Wright 



to paint a portrait which he presented to the Royal Society. 
This portrait was lent to Benjamin West to enable him 
to transfer the likeness of Franklin to the large canvas upon 
which he was painting the signing of the preliminary treaty 
of peace. 

The portrait by David Martin, which is the frontispiece 
to the second volume, was painted in London when Franklin 
was about sixty years of age. It was ordered and paid for by 
Robert Alexander of the house of William Alexander & Sons 
of Edinburgh. After the death of Robert it descended to 
his brother William, whose daughter married Jonathan 
Williams, grand nephew of Franklin. It is now in the pos- 
session of Henry Williams Biddle, Esq., of Philadelphia. 
Franklin was so well satisfied with the portrait that he caused 
a copy to be made by the same artist at his own expense, and 
it was sent to his family in Philadelphia. By his will he 
bequeathed it to the Supreme Executive Council of Pennsyl- 
vania. A copy made by Charles Willson Peale is owned 
by The American Philosophical Society. 

The portrait of greatest historical interest is that which 
appears as the frontispiece to this volume. It was painted 
by Benjamin Wilson in London in 1759. Its history is ex- 
plained in the following Correspondence, which was read by 
Hon. Joseph H. Choate, April 20, 1906, at the American 
Academy of Music, in Philadelphia, when the portrait was 
first shown after its return to America. 

"OTTAWA, February 7, 1906. 

" MY DEAR MR. PRESIDENT : The fortune of war and the 
accident of inheritance have made me the owner of the por- 
trait of Franklin which Major Andre* took out of his house 


in Philadelphia and gave to his Commanding Officer, my 
great grandfather, General Sir Charles Grey. This portrait, 
which Franklin stated was 'allowed by those who have seen 
it to have great merit as a picture in every respect,' has for 
over a century occupied the chief place of honour on the walls 
of my Northumbrian home. Mr. Choate has suggested to 
me that the approaching Franklin Bicentennial Celebration 
at Philadelphia on April 20, provides a fitting opportunity 
for restoring to the American people a picture which they 
will be glad to recover. I gladly fall hi with his suggestion. 

"In a letter from Franklin written from Philadelphia, 
October 23, 1788, to Madame Lavoisier, he says: 'Our 
English enemies when they were in possession of this city 
and my home, made a prisoner of my portrait and carried it 
off with them.' 

"As your English friend, I desire to give my prisoner, after 
the lapse of 130 years, his liberty, and shall be obliged if you 
will name the officer into whose custody you wish me to 
deliver him. If agreeable to you, I should be much pleased 
if he should find a final resting-place hi the White House, but 
I leave this to your judgement. 

"I remain with great respect and in all friendship, 
"Yours truly, 


" WASHINGTON, February 12, 1906. 

" MY DEAR LORD GREY : I shall send up an officer to receive 
that portrait, and I cannot sufficiently thank you for your 
thoughtful and generous gift. The announcement shall be 
made by Mr. Choate at the tune and place you suggest. I 
shall then formally thank you for your great and thoughtful 


courtesy. Meanwhile let me say privately how much I appre- 
ciate not only what you have done, but the spirit in which you 
have done it, and the way in which the manner of doing it adds 
to the generosity of the gift itself. I shall have placed on the 
portrait, which shall, of course, be kept at the White House as 
you desire, the circumstances of its taking and return. With 

heartiest regard, 

" Sincerely yours, 


When Sir Edward Newenham obtained a bust of Franklin, 
the court papers said it was really a bust of Lord Chancellor 
Newport, for it was well known that Franklin was too poor 
to sit for a bust. Upon the continent the truth was better 
known, and Houdon and Caffieri had chiselled in marble 
the features of Franklin. Gustavus III, while dwelling 
incognito in Paris as Count de Haga, purchased a bust to 
take to Sweden to place beside the busts of Diderot and 
d'Alembert. From the clay of the Chaumont estate upon the 
Loire, an odd looking, dwarfish Italian, Nini by name, made 
medallions, the first of the kind produced hi France, of which 
incredible numbers were sold. Some were set in the lids of 
snuff-boxes, some were so small as to be worn in rings. The 
Empress Catherine, of Russia, procured one of the largest 
size to place in the palace at St. Petersburg. 

I must draw attention here to the exceedingly interesting 
statuette, two views of which are given in Volume V. It was 
commended to the attention of Mr. Bigelow by its possessor, 
Madame Gue'rin de Vaux. Her father, M. Fournier des 
Orvres, was the great grandson of Fournier le Jeune, printer 
and type founder. In her letter to Mr. Bigelow she wrote 
(March 10, 1904): "Fournier le Jeune was very intimate 


with Franklin. At the time of my birth, there still existed 
letters which they had exchanged and particularly the one 
which had accompanied the sending of the statue. Unhap- 
pily they have been lost since and I am sorry to be unable to 
send you any written proof of their relations. Other repro- 
ductions of the statue possibly exist as I know for certain that 
some statues of the same kind have been sometimes made 
several in number. I know indeed two statuettes of Voltaire 
of the same type and which are like each other. [M. d'Alle- 
magne's collection and Muse*e Carnavalet in Paris.] These 
statues are made of a white paste, gesso, or other composi- 
tion ; they have been moulded and painted. The hair of the 
one we possess is certainly real hair of the great Franklin, 
which has been stuck ; the letter I named before mentioned 
it. The connoisseur M. d'Allemagne declares them of 
German workmanship." Upon merely circumstantial evi- 
dence Mr. Bigelow is disposed to ascribe the statuette to 
Jean Baptiste Nini. 

The bust reproduced as the frontispiece of the third volume 
is there erroneously said to be by Houdon. It was really 
the work of Jean Jacques Caffieri, who sculptured the statue 
of St. Satyre and made the monument of General Montgom- 
ery, now in St. Paul's Church, New York. Because he had 
made gratuitously a bust of Franklin he founded thereon his 
presumption to be employed by Congress to execute a statue 
of General Washington. One of his busts of Franklin was 
given to Sir Edward Newenham, another to M. Le Roy, and 
one was taken to Spain by Carmichael. Houdon also made 
his bust of Franklin gratuitously and sent Franklin four copies 
in plaster. In a rather testy correspondence with W. T. 
Franklin, Caffieri declared that if Houdon had preceded him 

xviii PREFACE 

he would have had delicacy about working after him, and he 
censured the Franklins for allowing Houdon to make a bust 
after the success that had crowned Caffieri's endeavour. It has 
frequently been said that the Cameri bust was the work of 
Ceracchi. But Franklin's acquaintance with Ceracchi, who 
was but twenty-four years old when Franklin left France, 
was confined to a brief correspondence with Ingenhousz, 
who, on behalf of Count Lacy, a great favourite of the Aus- 
trian Emperor, had written to Franklin to ask whether it 
would be wise for Ceracchi to visit America to seek em- 
ployment hi making monuments. 

I have already in this preface referred to an interesting 
incident in which a bust of Franklin played a part during 
the French Revolution. Another episode of 1793 is told by 
Haliday in a letter to Lord Charlemont. A riot had taken 
place in Belfast, and his Majesty's Light Dragoons, according 
to the writer, had run amuck : "Had they confined themselves 
to their less heroic feats of breaking windows and pulling 
down signs heads which were much respected by all but 
slaves and tyrants when they were put up and that in such 
obscure corners that scarcely any of us had ever heard that 
such things were it might have been endured. Mirabeau 
and Dumourier fell, but the venerable Franklin, from his 
greater elevation, and being well fortified with 'robur et aes 
triplex' baffled their gallant efforts." (Hist. Mss. Comm. 
13 Rep. App. Pt. VIII.) 

Besides paintings and busts and prints numerous minia- 
tures enrich public and private collections. One superb 
example of the art the work of J. S. Duplessis has 
descended through a daughter of Sarah Bache to its present 
possessor in Philadelphia. Jeremiah Meyer undertook to 


make a minature, but his dilatoriness elicited from Franklin 
the following hitherto unpublished note, the irony of which 
must be my excuse for printing it in this place. 

"Dr. Franklin presents his compliments to Mr. Meyer, 
and prays him not to detain any longer the Picture from 
which he was to make a miniature but return it by the Bearer. 
Hopes Mr. Meyer will not think him impatient as he has 
waited full five years and seen many of his Acquaintance 
tho' applying later, serv'd before him. Wishes Mr. Meyer 
not to give himself the Trouble of making any more Apolo- 
gies or to feel the least Pain on Ace* of his disappointing 
Dr. Franklin who assures him, he never was disappointed 
by him but once, not having for several Years past since he 
has known the Character of his Veracity, had the smallest 
dependance upon it." 

And now when I should take leave of my task I linger re- 
luctant to speak a final farewell until I shall have added a 
word of comment upon the character of the man whose monu- 
ment has here been built. His praise has indeed been spoken 
widely and warmly in the twelvemonth just completed, but 
the voice of detraction and of harsh censure has not been 
altogether silenced. The fulness of praise is still in many 
places and in many ways withheld from him. In Phila- 
delphia, the city of his second birth, an hereditary hostility, 
derived unconsciously from the ancient proprietary feud, 
still exists, and opposes to the fame of Franklin an attitude 
of serious censure or contemptuous indifference. In Eng- 
land he is classified with those politicians who are merely 
"smart" obtuse of conscience and wily to the verge of 
chicane. His moral lapses have been eagerly exaggerated 


and relentlessly condemned, though they were freely confessed 
and fully regretted by him. His autobiography has been 
styled the history of a rogue. Lewdness, irreligion, and 
sophistry are unsparingly ascribed to him. His faults were 
with few exceptions such as are "companions noted and most 
known to youth and liberty." He frankly acknowledged them 
and set forth a deep repentance. He begot one illegitimate 
child, whom he acknowledged and educated, and for whom 
he did everything that love and duty could perform. When 
that son repeated the parental fault and begat a bastard son 
in England, Franklin obliged him to rear his child with the 
same wise care and affection, nor would he tolerate his 
introduction in America under a false or foreign name. 

In a letter to Ezra Stiles, another to Madame Brillon, and 
a third to Joseph Huey, he has professed with characteristic 
clearness beliefs that could only belong to a reverent and 
religious mind. His creed was simple and steadfast. He 
believed in God and that he should be worshipped ; he held 
unfaltering faith in immortality; and in the conduct of life 
he advised the imitation of Jesus and Socrates. "I look 
upon death," he wrote to George Whatley, "to be as neces- 
sary to our constitution as sleep. We shall rise refreshed in 
the morning." 

Throughout his life his burdens were heavy, his anxieties 
often distressing, and he suffered much pain. He retained, 
however, a cheerful temper, for his habitual mood was kindly 
and tolerant. Bad temper, he was wont to say, is the unclean- 
liness of the mind. He had a talent for happiness, and he 
told Nicholas Collin that all the griefs and sufferings of this 
world are but as the momentary pricking of a pin in com- 
parison with the total happiness of our existence. 


He was not one of the pure and high spirits who lead the 
life of the soul and by lustrous example allure mankind to 
lofty lives. He pursued the objects of ambition upon a 
lower level. He was a companionable philosopher whose 
feet were always well poised upon the substantial earth, and 
whose eyes rested upon practical material advantages. His 
ideal was a life of thrift, husbandry, comfort, worldly cau- 
tion and rational enjoyment. Yet he had his large visions, 
too, of growth and expansion and power. He zealously fed 
and trimmed the guiding lamps that shed their beams upon 
the dark and dangerous ways upon which the young Repub- 
lic began its tremendous career. He listened to the tread 
of the coming generations, and rejoiced to see "how grows 
the day of human power." No disaster or depression could 
shake his firm faith in the vast future of America. The whole 
continent was his colonial home. " What is your occupation ? " 
was the question asked of him at his examination before the 
House of Commons. He replied, "I am deputy postmaster 
general of North America" When in desperate straits for 
money, alarmed and dismayed by the unceasing drafts of 
Congress, and the ever present dread of the collapse of all 
American credit, he was told that Spain would lend money 
on condition that America should agree to remain within 
the Alleghany Mountains, he exclaimed in sudden anger, 
and with prophetic fire: "Poor as we are, yet as I know we 
shall be rich I would rather agree with them to buy at a great 
price the whole of their right in the Mississippi than sell a 
drop of its waters. A neighbour might as well ask me to 
sell my street door!" 

He loved England, and his dearest friends were in Great 
Britain, but there seems never to have been absent from his 



mind a sense of the latent might of the colonies, and a vision 
of the giant things to come at large and the inevitable shift- 
ing of the seat and centre of power to the western shore of the 
Atlantic. When his life was drawing to its painful end, he 
looked upon the portentous events then happening about 
him the framing and adoption of a Constitution and the 
creation of the first machinery of government and uttered 
warnings which deserve the serious attention of his country- 
men in the second century after his death. More than once 
he declared that the chief peril he saw in America arose not 
from an excess of authority in the governors, but from a 
deficiency of obedience in the governed. He saw also, as he 
thought, a disposition to commence an aristocracy, by giving 
the rich a predominance in government, and he besought his 
countrymen to beware of the perils of luxury and the menace 
of inordinate wealth. 

In nothing did he show his typical American character 
more clearly than in his power of prompt assimilation of new 
ideas and ready adaptation to novel circumstances. He was 
a man of the frontier, with all the resourcefulness and hardi- 
ness of the pioneer. He was free of sectarianism and of 
sectionalism. Unfettered by provincial limitations, he was 
capable of entering with alacrity into a new orbit. Sainte 
Beuve declared him to be the most French of all Americans. 
It is a remarkable illustration of his extraordinary mobility of 
mind. But while he was sensitive to each breath and wind 
of change and progress, he stood firmly by institutions and 
methods authenticated by history and whose worth was proved 
by ripe and safe experience. He shared Burke's detestation 
of innovations that recklessly uprooted what was old, and 
wrought destructions in the name of reform. "Purify with- 

PREFACE xxiii 

out destroying" was his oft-repeated political maxim, which 
might well have been a motto for the library of Edmund 

A few months before his death he referred to new and 
dangerous theories that seemed to be entering the State, and 
said, "I hope that our representatives in the Convention 
will not hastily go into these Innovations, but take the advice 
of the Prophet, ' Stand in the old ways, view the ancient Paths, 
consider them well, and be not among those that are given to 

When he was fifty years old he wrote to George Whitefield : 
"Life like a dramatic Piece should not only be conducted 
with Regularity, but methinks it should finish handsomely. 
Being now in the last Act I begin to cast about for 
something fit to end with. Or if mine be more properly 
compar'd to an Epigram, as some of its few lines are but 
barely tolerable, I am very desirous of concluding with a 
bright point." Thirty-four years of busy life were still be- 
fore him when he wrote those words. Great honours and 
blessings were hi store for him. But the "brightest points" 
in the brilliant epigram of his life are those that tell of his 
supreme devotion to the welfare of his country. He aban- 
doned cherished ambitipns and sacrificed personal ease to 
bear the burdens of a nation. Twice he braved personal ruin 
and risked his entire fortune at critical moments of his coun- 
try's history. He became personally responsible to the farm- 
ers of Pennsylvania and Maryland to recompense them for 
their horses and wagons when they declined to accept the 
security of. Braddock. And in later years he pledged himself 
to pay for all the tea destroyed in Boston Harbour if the gov- 
ernment of England would but subscribe to suitable terms 


of reconciliation with the colonies. When he left America to 
enter upon his service as commissioner in France, the rumour 
was rife in England that he had deserted a forlorn cause. His 
malicious critics had grossly misread the character of the 
man whose last act upon quitting the home that he might 
never see again was to lend to the Congress his entire avail- 
able fortune, between three and four thousand pounds. 

It is a pleasure to add to the list of those to whom at the 
beginning of this work I confessed my obligations the name 
of M. Lionel de Crevecceur, who generously brought to me hi 
Paris a large and interesting collection of private papers be- 
longing to his great grandfather Michel Guillaume Jean de 
Crevecceur. I am also deeply indebted to Dr. John L. Haney 
and Mr. Howard C. Myers, who have assisted me hi the read- 
ing of proofs, and to Mr. Raymond M. Fulforth, who has 
helped in the preparation of the index. 

A. H. S. 

JANUARY 29, 1907. 




1756. To Alexander Small. February 17, 1789 I 

1757. To Mrs. Catherine Greene. March 2, 1789 ... 3 

1758. To Miss Catherine Louisa Shipley. April 27, 1789 . . 4 

1759. To Comte de Moustier. April 27, 1789 .... 5 

1760. To Charles Carroll. May 25, 1789 7 

1761. To Philip Kinsey. May 25, 1789 . . . , , - . 7 

1762. To Richard Price. May 31, 1789 8 

1763. Observations relative to the Intentions of the original 

Founders of the Academy in Philadelphia. June, 1789 . 9 

1764. To Benjamin Vaughan. June 3, 1789 . . >, . 32 

1765. To Mrs. Jane Mecom. August 3, 1789 . , ?.-!;" 33 

1766. To M. Le Veillard. September 5, 1789 . . .4..- . 34 

1767. An Account of the Supremest Court of Judicature in Penn- 

sylvania, viz. the Court of the Press. September 12, 

1789 " 36 

1768. To George Washington. September 16, 1789 ... 41 

1769. To Comte de Montmorin. September 21, 1789 ... ; . 42 

1770. To Mrs. Jane Mecom. October 19, 1789 .... 43 

1771. To "Sylvanus Urban Esq." [D. Henry]. October 20, 

1789 43 

1772. To Jonathan Williams. October 26, 1789 \ ... j-,? . ' . 44 

1773. To William Alexander. October 26, 1789 ... 45 

1774. To Donatien Le Rayde Chaumont, Fils. October 31, 1789 46 

1775. To Robert Morris. November 2, 1789 .... 48 

1776. To James Logan. November 2, 1789 .... 49 

1777. To Benjamin Vaughan. November 2, 1789 ... 49 

1778. Queries and Remarks respecting Alterations in the Consti- 

tution of Pennsylvania. November, 1 789 ... 54 

1779. To John Wright. November 4, 1789 .... 60 

1780. To Samuel Moore. November 5, 1789 .... 63 



1781. To Alexander Small. November 5, 1789 . ... 64 

1782. An Address to the Public; from the Pennsylvania Society 

for promoting the Abolition of Slavery, and the Relief of 
Free Negroes unlawfully held in Bondage. November 

9, 1789 ...... ... 66 

1783. To Jean Baptiste Le Roy. November 13, 1789 . . 68 

1784. To M. Le Veillard. November 13, 1789 .... 69 

1785. To Donatien Le Ray de Chaumont. November 14, 1789 . 70 

1786. To David Hartley. December 4, 1789 .... 72 

1787. To Mrs. Jane Mecom. December 17, 1789 ... 73 

1788. To - . December 19, 1789 ...... 74 

1789. To Miles Merwin. December 21, 1789 .... 75 

1790. To Noah Webster. December 26, 1789 .... 75 

1791. To - . January 19, 1790 ...... 82 

1792. To Ezra Stiles. March 9, 1790 ..... 83 

1793. To Francis Childs. March 10, 1790 .... 86 

1794. On the Slave Trade. March 23, 1790 .... 86 

1795. To Mrs. Jane Mecom. March 24, 1790 .... 91 

1796. To Thomas Jefferson. April 8, 1790 .... 92 

1797. Remarks concerning the Savages of North America. 1784? 97 

1798. The Retort Courteous. April, 1786? . . . .105 

1799. The Internal State of America; being a True Description 

of the Interest and Policy of that Vast Continent . .116 

1800. Conte . ; ; ; ........ 123 

1801. An Arabian Tale ........ 123 

1802. A Petition of the Left Hand, To those who have the Super- 

intendency of Education ..... .125 

1803. Hints for Consideration respecting the Orphan School- 

House in Philadelphia ....... 126 

1804. Plan for improving the Condition of the Free Blacks . 127 

1805. Some Good Whig Principles ...... 130 

1806. The Art of Procuring Pleasant Dreams. 1786? . . 131 



I. Origin and Early Struggles 141 

II. Postmaster and Assemblyman 172 

III. Acquaintance with England 196 




IV. The Stamp Act 221 

V. The Scene in the Cockpit 240 

VI. Plans of Conciliation 272 

VII. Plenipotentiary to France 300 

VIII. Vast European Fame 328 

IX. Financing the Revolution 364 

X. The Treaty of Peace . 388 

XI. Social Life in France 


XII. Return to America 456 

XIII. Last Will and Testament 493 






A. P. S American Philosophical Society. 

B. M British Museum. 

B. N Bibliotheque Nationale. 

D. S. W Department of State, Washington. 

H Harvard University. 

L. C Library of Congress. 

L. L Lenox Library. 

Lans Lansdowne House. 

M.H.S Massachusetts Historical Society. 

P. C Private Collection. 

P. H. S Pennsylvania Historical Society. 

P. R. O Public Record Office. 

P. R. O. A. W. I Public Record Office : America and 

West Indies. 
P. A. E. E. U Paris Departement des Affaires 

Etrangeres, Etats-Unis. 

U. of P University of Pennsylvania. 

Y Yale University. 

B Bigelow. 

F Benjamin Franklin. 

S Sparks. 

V Benjamin Vaughan. 

W. T. F W. T. Franklin. 

Franklin's Mss. exist in several forms. He made a rough draft of 
every letter that he wrote ; he then made a clean copy to send away, and 
often retained a letter-press copy. To indicate the state of the docu- 
ment, the following abbreviations are used: d. = draft, trans. = transcript, 
1. p. = letter-press copy. 


Philadelphia, February 17, 1789. 


I have just received your kind letter of November 29th, 2 and 
am much obliged by your friendly attention in sending me the 
receipt, which on occasion I may make trial of ; but the stone 
I have being a large one, as I find by the weight it falls with 
when I turn in bed, I have no hope of its being dissoluble 
by any medicine ; and having been for some time past pretty 
free from pain, I am afraid of tampering. I congratulate you 
on the escape you had by avoiding the one you mention, that 
was as big as a kidney bean ; had it been retained, it might 
soon have become too large to pass, and proved the cause of 
much pain at times, as mine has been to me. 

Having served my time of three years as president, I have 
now renounced all public business, and enjoy the otium cum 
dignitate. My friends indulge me with their frequent visits, 
which I have now leisure to receive and enjoy. The Philo- 
sophical Society, and the Society for Political Inquiries, meet 
at my house, which I have enlarged by additional building, 
that affords me a large room for those meetings, another over 
it for my library now very considerable, and over all some 
lodging rooms. I have seven promising grandchildren by my 

1 Printed from "The Private Correspondence of Benjamin Franklin" (1818), 
Vol. I, p. 246. Dated February 19, by Bigelow. ED. 

2 In A. P. S. ED. 



daughter, who play with and amuse me, and she is a kind 
attentive nurse to me when I am at any tune indisposed ; so 
that I pass my time as agreeably as at my age a man may 
well expect, and have little to wish for, except a more easy 
exit than my malady seems to threaten. 

The deafness you complain of gives me concern, as if great 
it must dimmish considerably your pleasure in conversation. 
If moderate, you may remedy it easily and readily, by putting 
your thumb and fingers behind your ear, pressing it outwards, 
and enlarging it, as it were, with the hollow of your hand. 
By an exact experiment I found, that I could hear the tick of a 
watch at forty-five feet distance by this means, which was 
barely audible at twenty feet without it. The experiment 
was made at midnight when the house was still. 

I am glad you have sent those directions respecting ven- 
tilation to the Edinburgh Society. I hope you have added 
an account of the experience you had of it at Minorca. If 
they do not print your paper, send it to me, and it shall be 
in the third volume, which we are about to publish of our 

Mrs. Hewson joins with us in best wishes for your health 
and happiness. Her eldest son has gone through his studies 
at our college, and taken his degree. The youngest is still 
there, and will be graduated this summer. My grandson 
presents his respects ; and I am ever, my dear friend, yours 

most affectionately, 


P. S. You never mention the receipt of any letters from 
me. I wish to know if they come to hand, particularly my 
last enclosing the Apologue. You mention some of my old 
friends being dead, but not their names. 



Philadelphia, March 2, 1789. 


Having now done with public affairs, which have hitherto 
taken up so much of my time, I shall endeavour to enjoy, 
during the small remainder of life that is left to me, some of 
the pleasures of conversing with my old friends by writing, 
since their distance prevents my hope of seeing them again. 

I received one of the bags of sweet corn you were so good 
as to send me a long time since, but the other never came to 
hand. Even the letter mentioning it, though dated December 
loth, 1787^ has been above a year on its way; for I received 
it but about two weeks since from Baltimore in Maryland. 
The corn I did receive was excellent, and gave me great pleas- 
ure. Accept my hearty thanks. 

I am, as you suppose in the abovementioned old letter, 
much pleased to hear, that my young friend Ray is "smart 
hi the farming way," and makes such substantial fences. 
I think agriculture the most honourable of all employments, 
being the most independent. The farmer has no need of 
popular favour, nor the favour of the great; the success of 
his crops depending only on the blessing of God upon his 
honest industry. I congratulate your good spouse, that he, 
as well as myself, is now free from public cares, and that he 
can bend his whole attention to his farming, which will afford 
him both profit and pleasure ; a business which nobody knows 
better how to manage with advantage. 

1 From "The Private Correspondence of Benjamin Franklin" (1818), 
Vol. I, p. 248. ED. 

2 In A. P. S. ED. 


I am too old to follow printing again myself, but, loving the 
business, I have brought up my grandson Benjamin to it, 
and have built and furnished a printing-house for him, which 
he now manages under my eye. I have great pleasure in the 
rest of my grandchildren, who are now in number eight, and 
all promising, the youngest only six months old, but shows 
signs of great good nature. My friends here are numerous, 
and I enjoy as much of their conversation as I can reasonably 
wish; and I have as much health and cheerfulness, as can 
well be expected at my age, now eighty-three. Hitherto this 
long life has been tolerably happy ; so that, if I were allowed 
to live it over again, I should make no objection, only wishing 
for leave to do, what authors do in a second edition of their 
works, correct some of my errata. Among the felicities of 
my life I reckon your friendship, which I shall remember with 
pleasure as long as that life lasts, being ever, my dear friend 

yours most affectionately, 



Philadelphia, April 27, 1789. 

IT is only a few days since the kind letter of my dear young 
friend, dated December 24th, came to my hands. I had 
before, in the public papers, met with the afflicting news that 
letter contained. That excellent man has then left us ! His 
departure is a loss, not to his family and friends only, but to 
his nation, and to the world ; for he was intent on doing good, 
had wisdom to devise the means, and talents to promote them. 

1 From "The Private Correspondence of Benjamin Franklin" (1818), 
Vol. I, p. 249. ED. 


His "Sermon before the Society for Propagating the Gospel," 
and his "Speech intended to have been spoken," * are proofs 
of his ability as well as his humanity. Had his counsels hi 
those pieces been attended to by the ministers, how much 
bloodshed might have been prevented, and how much expense 
and disgrace to the nation avoided ! 

Your reflections on the constant calmness and composure 
attending his death are very sensible. Such instances seem 
to show, that the good sometimes enjoy in dying a foretaste of 
the happy state they are about to enter. 

According to the course of years, I should have quitted 
this world long before him. I shall however not be long hi 
following. I am now in my eighty-fourth year, and the last 
year has considerably enfeebled me ; so that I hardly expect 
to remain another. You will then, my dear friend, consider 
this as probably the last line to be received from me, and as a 
taking leave. Present my best and most sincere respects to 
your good mother, and love to the rest of the family, to whom 
I wish all happiness ; and believe me to be, while I do live, 
yours most affectionately, 



Philad* April 27, 1789. 


I received the Honour of your Letter dated the i2th of 
March, when I lay very ill of my painful Distemper, which 
rendered me incapable of writing. The Letter yours enclos'd 

1 See Introduction, Vol. I, p. 165. ED. 

2 Elenore Francois Elie, Comte de Moustier, French Minister to the 
United States. ED. 


related to an Affair between a Mr. Thomas of Paris, & Mess" 
Bache and Thee [?]. I communicated it to Mr. Bache who 
promis'd to examine the old Papers of the Partnership, and 
write to Mr. Thomas. This took some time, but he has 
now done it, and will give you a Letter for that Gentleman 
w** I presume will satisfy him, that he has had no just reason 
to complain of those Messieurs. I also enclose a Letter for 
Mr. Thomas. 

I regret with you that the new Congress was so long in As- 
sembling. The Season of the Year was not well chosen for 
their Meeting, & the uncommon Length of the Winter made 
it the more inconvenient. But this could hardly excuse the 
extreme Neglect of some of the Members, who not being far 
distant might have attended sooner, and whose Absence not 
only prevented the public Business from being forwarded, 
but put those States, whose Members attended punctually, 
to a vast Expence which answered no purpose. I hope 
however that now they are assembled the Wisdom of their 
Council will repair what has been amiss, promote effectually 
our national Interests, and do honour to their own Characters. 

My best Wishes also Attend the Deliberation of your great 
Council the States General of France, which meets this Day. 
God grant them Temper and Harmony ; Wisdom they must 
have among them sufficient if Passions will suffer it to operate. 
I pray sincerely that by means of that Assembly the public 
Interests may be advanced and succeed, and the future Wel- 
fare and Glory of the French Nation be firmly established. 

I have the honour to be, with sincere and great Esteem and 
Respect, Sir, 

Your Excellency's most obedient & most 

humble Servant, 




Philadelphia, May 25, 1789. 


I am glad to see by the papers, that our grand machine 
has at length begun to work. I pray God to bless and guide 
its operations. If any form of government is capable of mak- 
ing a nation happy, ours I think bids fair now for producing 
that effect. But, after all, much depends upon the people 
who are to be governed. We have been guarding against an 
evil that old States are most liable to, excess of power in the 
rulers ; but our present danger seems to be defect of obedience 
in the subjects. There is hope, however, from the enlight- 
ened state of this age and country, we may guard effectually 
against that evil as well as the rest. 

My grandson, William Temple Franklin, will have the 
honour of presenting this line. He accompanied me to France, 
and remained with me during my mission. I beg leave to 
recommend him to your notice, and that you would believe 
me, my dear friend, yours most affectionately, 


1761. TO PHILIP KINSEY (A. p. s.) 

May 25, 1789. 

D* FRANKLIN presents his respectful Compliments to M* 
Kinsey, and is persuaded there is some Mistake in the Sup- 

1 Mr. Carroll was at this time a senator in Congress from Maryland. The 
first Congress under the new Constitution had recently convened in New York. 
In March, 1776, Dr. Franklin and Mr. Carroll had been joint commissioners, 
appointed by the Continental Congress with instructions to form a union 
between the Canadas and the United Colonies. S. 

This letter is printed from Sparks, Vol. X, p. 392. ED. 


position that the Box in question was ever lent to him, his 
Memory being still pretty good, and it affording not the least 
Trace of any such Transaction. 1 

1762. TO RICHARD PRICE 2 (L. c.) 

Philad% May 31, 1789. 

I lately received your kind Letter, inclosing one from Miss 
Kitty Shipley, informing me of the good Bishop's Decease, 
which afflicted me greatly. My Friends drop off one after 
another, when my Age and Infirmities prevent my making 
new Ones; & if I still retained the necessary Activity and 
Ability, I hardly see among the existing Generation where I 
could make them of equal Goodness: So that the longer I 
live I must expect to be very wretched. As we draw nearer 
the Conclusion of Life, Nature furnishes with more Helps to 
wean us from it, among which one of the most powerful is 
the Loss of such dear Friends. 

1 Written by Franklin on the back of the following letter from Kinsey : 
" Philip Kinseys most respectful Compliments to Doctor Franklin. His 

Brother James Kinsey, then in this City, more than thirty Years since, lent the 
Doctor a mahogany Box containing sundry geometrical solid Bodies, being 
the first six Books of Euclid's Elements formd of Box Wood, which were 
never returnd; P. K. has the other Box containing the Figures of the other 
six Books, both which cost twenty four Guineas, lately recover'd from another 
Person who had had them so long that they were forgot, if that which the 
Doctor borrow'd can be obtaind in good Order which he hopes may be done 
P. K. can dispose of them for perhaps as much Currency as they cost sterling, 
or if the Doctor would like to have them the other Box shall be sent him. 
Enquiry was made for them at the Doctors House during his first Absence, 

but his Wife & Daughter knew nothing of them 

May 25 th Monday 4. o'Clock." ED. 

2 This letter is written in lead pencil, as are most of the later letters written 
by Franklin. ED. 


I send you with this the two Volumes of our Transactions, 
as I forget whether you had the first before. If you had, 
you will please to give this to the French Ambassador, re- 
questing his Conveyance of it to the good Duke de la Roche- 

My best Wishes attend you, being with sincere and great 
Esteem, my dear Friend, yours most affectionately, 




As the English School in the Academy has been, and still 
continues to be, a Subject of Dispute and Discussion among 
the Trustees since the Restitution of the Charter, and it has 
been propos'd that we should have some Regard to the 
original Intention of the Founders hi establishing that School, 
I beg leave for your Information, to lay before you what I 
know of that Matter originally, and what I find on the 
Minutes relating to it, by which it will appear how far the 
Design of that School has been adher'd to or neglected. 

Having acquir'd some little Reputation among my Fellow- 
Citizens, by projecting the Public Library in 1732, and ob- 
taining the Subscriptions by which it was establish'd, and by 
proposing and promoting with Success sundry other Schemes 
of Utility, in 1749 I was encouraged to hazard another 
Project, that of a Public Education for our Youth. As in 
the Scheme of the Library I had provided only for English 
Books, so in this new Scheme my Ideas went no farther than to 


procure the Means of a good English Education. A Number 
of my Friends, to whom I communicated the Proposal, con- 
curr'd with me in these Ideas ; but Mr. Allen, Mr. Francis, 
Mr. Peters, and some other Persons of Wealth and Learning, 
whose Subscriptions and Countenance we should need, being 
of Opinion that it ought to include the learned Languages, I 
submitted my Judgment to theirs, retaining however a strong 
Prepossession in favour of my first Plan, and resolving to 
preserve as much of it as I could, and to nourish the English 
School by every Means in my Power. 

Before I went about to procure Subscriptions, I thought 
it proper to prepare the Minds of the People by a Pamphlet, 
which I wrote, and printed, and distributed with my News- 
papers, gratis: The Title was, Proposals relating to the 
Education of Youth in Pennsylvania. I happen to have 
preserv'd one of them ; and by reading a few Passages it will 
appear how much the English Learning was insisted upon in 
it ; and I had good reason to know that this was a prevailing 
Part of the Motives for Subscribing with most of the original 
Benefactors. 1 I met with but few Refusals in soliciting the 
Subscriptions; and the Sum was the more considerable, as 
I had put the Contribution on this footing that it was not to 
be immediate and the whole paid at once, but in Parts, a 
Fifth annually during Five Years. To put the Machine in 

1 That the Rector be a man of good understanding, good morals, diligent 
and patient, learned in the languages and sciences, and a correct, pure speaker 
and writer of the English tongue ; to have such tutors under him as shall be 

The English language might be taught by grammar ; in which some of our 
best writers, as Tillotson, Addison, Pope, Algernon Sidney, Cato's Letters, &c. 
should be classics ; the styles principally to be cultivated being the clear and 
the concise. Reading should also be taught, and pronouncing properly, dis- 
tinctly, emphatically ; not with an even tone, which under-does, nor a theatri- 
cal, which over-does nature. 


Motion, Twenty-four of the principal Subscribers agreed to 
take upon themselves the Trust ; and a Set of Constitutions 
for their Government, and for the Regulation of the Schools 
were drawn up by Mr. Francis and myself, which were sign'd 
by us all, and printed, that the Publick might know what was 
to be expected. I wrote also a Paper, entitled, Idea, of an 
English School, which was printed, and afterwards annex'd 
to Mr. Peters' Sermon, preach'd at the opening of the Acad- 
emy. This Paper was said to be for the Consideration of the 
Trustees; and the Expectation of the Publick, that the Idea 
might in good Part be carried into Execution, contributed to 
render the Subscriptions more liberal as well as more general. 
I mention my Concern in these Transactions, to show the 
Opportunity I had of being well inform'd in the Points I am 

The Constitutions are upon Record in your Minutes; 
and, altho' the Latin and Greek is by them to be taught, the 
original Idea of a complete English Education was not for- 
gotten, as will appear by the following Extracts. 

Page i. "The English Tongue is to be taught grammati- 
cally, and as a Language." 

Page 4. In reciting the Qualification of the Person to be 
appointed Rector, it is said, "that great Regard is to be had to 
his polite Speaking, Writing, and Understanding the English 

The Rector was to have Two Hundred Pounds a Year, for 
vf^ he was to be obliged to "teach 20 Boys, without any 
Assistance, and 25 more for every Usher provided for him, 
the Latin and Greek Languages; and at the same time in- 
struct them in History, Geography, Chronology, Logic, 
Rhetoric, and the English Tongue" 


The Rector was also, "on all Occasions consistent with his 
Duty in the Latin School, to assist the English Master in 
improving the Youth under his Care." 

Page 5. "The Trustees shall with all convenient Speed, 
contract with any Person that offers who they shall judge 
most capable of teaching the English Tongue grammatically 
and as a Language, History, Geography, Chronology, Logic, 
and Oratory; which Person shall be stiled the English 

The English Master was to have "One Hundred Pounds 
a Year, for which he was to teach, without any Assistance, 
40 Scholars the English Tongue grammatically and at the 
same time instruct them in History, Geography, Chronology, 
Logic, and Oratory; and Sixty Scholars more for every 
Usher provided for him." 

It is to be observed in this Place, that here are two distinct 
Courses in the same Study, that is, of the same Branches of 
Science, viz. History, Geography, Chronology, Logic, and 
Oratory, to be carried on at the same time, but not by the same 
Tutor or Master. The English Master is to teach his Schol- 
ars all those Branches of Science, and also the English 
Tongue grammatically, as a Language. The Latin Master 
is to teach the same Sciences to his Boys, besides the Greek 
and Latin. He was also to assist the English Master occa- 
sionally without which and his general Care in the Govern- 
ment of the Schools, the giving him double Salary seems not 
well accounted for. But here is plainly two distinct Schools 
or Courses of Education provided for. The Latin Master 
was not to teach the English Scholars Logic, Rhetoric, &c. ; 
that was the Duty of the English Master ; but he was to teach 
those Sciences to the Latin Scholars. We shall see hereafter 


how easily this original Plan was defeated and departed 

When the Constitutions were first drawn Blanks were left 
for the Salaries, and for the Number of Boys the Latin Master 
was to teach. The first Instance of Partiality in f av 1 of the 
Latin Part of the Institution, was in giving the Title of Rector 
to the Latin Master, and no Title to the English one. But 
the most striking Instance was when we met to sign, and the 
Blanks were first to be filPd up, the Votes of a Majority 
carry'd it, to give twice as much Salary to the Latin Master 
as to the English, and yet require twice as much Duty from 
the English Master as from the Latin, viz. aoo/. to the Latin 
Master to teach 20 Boys ; ioo/. to the English Master to teach 
40! However, the Trustees who voted these Salaries being 
themselves by far the greatest Subscribers, tho' not the most 
numerous, it was thought they had a kind of Right to pre- 
dominate in Money Matters; and those who had wish'd an 
equal Regard might have been shown to both Schools, sub- 
mitted, tho' not without Regret, and at times some little 
Complaining ; which, with their not being able hi nine Months 
to find a proper Person for English Master, who would under- 
take the Office for so low a Salary, induc'd the Trustees at 
length, viz. in July 1750, to offer $ol. more. 

Another Instance of the Partiality above mentioned was in 
the March preceding, when ioo/. Sterling was voted to buy 
Latin and Greek Books, Maps, Drafts, and Instruments for 
the Use of the Academy, and nothing for English Books. 

The great Part of the Subscribers, who had the English 
Education chiefly in view, were however sooth'd into a Sub- 
mission to these Partialities, chiefly by the Expectation given 
them by the Constitution, viz. that the Trustees would make 


it their Pleasure, and in some degree their Business, to visit 
the Academy often, to encourage and countenance the Youth, 
look on the Students as in some Measure their own Children, 
treat them with Familiarity and Affection; and when they 
have behaved well, gone thro' their Studies, and are to enter 
the World, the Trustees shall zealously unite, and make all the 
Interest that can be made, to promote and establish them, 
whether in Business, Offices, Marriages, or any other thing 
for their Advantage, preferable to all other Persons whatso- 
ever, even of equal Merit. 

These splendid Promises dazzled the Eyes of the Publick. 
The Trustees were most of them the principal Gentlemen of 
the Province. Children taught in other Schools had no reason 
to expect such powerful Patronage, the Subscribers had 
plac'd such entire Confidence in them as to leave themselves 
no Power of changing them if their Conduct of the Plan should 
be disapprov'd ; and so, in hopes of the best, all these Partial- 
ities were submitted to. 

Near a Year past before a proper Person was found to take 
Charge of the English School. At length Mr. Dove, who had 
been many years Master of a School in England, and had come 
hither with an Apparatus for giving Lectures in Experimen- 
tal Philosophy, was prevail'd with by me, after his Lectures 
were finished, to accept that Employment for the Salary of- 
fered, tho' he thought it too scanty. He had a good Voice, 
read perfectly well, with proper Accent and just Pronuncia- 
tion, and his Method of communicating Habits of the same 
kind to his Pupils was this. When he gave a Lesson to one 
of them, he always first read it to him aloud, with all the 
different Modulations of Voice that the Subject and Sense 
required. These the scholars, in studying and repeating the 


Lesson, naturally endeavour'd to imitate; and it was really 
surprizing to see how soon they caught his Manner, which 
convinc'd me and others who frequently attended his School, 
that tho' bad Tones and manners in reading are when once 
acquir'd rarely, with Difficulty, if ever cur'd, yet, when none 
have been already form'd, good ones are as easily learn'd as 
bad. In a few Weeks after opening his School, the Trus- 
tees were invited to hear the Scholars read and recite. The 
Parents and Relations of the Boys also attended. The Per- 
formances were surprizingly good, and of course were admired 
and applauded ; and the English School thereby acquired 
such Reputation, that the Number of Mr. Dove's Scholars 
soon amounted to upwards of Ninety, which Number did not 
dimmish as long as he continued Master, viz. upwards of two 
Years: But he finding the Salary insufficient, and having 
set up a School for Girls in his own House to supply the De- 
ficiency, and quitting the Boys' School somewhat before the 
Hour to attend the Girls, the Trustees disapprov'd of his so 
doing, and he quitted their Employment, continu'd his Girls' 
School, and open'd one for Boys on his own Account. The 
Trustees provided another English Master; but tho' a good 
Man, yet not possessing the Talents of an English School- 
master in the same Perfection with Mr. Dove, the School 
diminish'd daily, and soon was found to have but about forty 
Scholars left. The Performances of the Boys, in Reading 
and Speaking, were no longer so brilliant; the Trustees of 
course had not the same Pleasure in hearing them, and the 
Monthly Visitations, which had so long afforded a delightful 
Entertainment to large Audiences were gradually badly 
attended, and at length discontinued ; and the English School 
has never since recovered its original Reputation. 


Thus by our injudiciously starving the English Part of our 
Scheme of Education, we only sav'd Fifty Pounds a Year, 
which was required as an additional Salary to an acknowledg'd 
excellent English master, which would have equaled his En- 
couragement to that of the Latin Master; I say by saving 
the Fifty Pounds we lost Fifty Scholars, which would have 
been 2oo/. a Year, and defeated besides one great End of 
the Institution. 

In the mean time our Favours were shower'd upon the Latin 
Part; the Number of Teachers was encreas'd, and their 
Salaries from tune to time augmented, till if I mistake not, 
they amounted in the whole to more than 6oo/. a Year, tho' 
the Scholars hardly ever exceeded 60; so that each Scholar 
Cost the Funds io/. per annum, while he paid but 4/., which 
was a Loss of 61. by every one of them. 

The Monthly Visitation too of the Schools, by the Trustees, 
having been long neglected, the Omission was complain'd 
of by the Parents, as a Breach of original Promise; where- 
upon the Trustees, July n, 1755, made it a Law, that "they 
should meet on the second Tuesday in every Month at the 
Academy, to visit the Schools, examine the Scholars, hear their 
public Exercises, &c." This good Law however, like many 
others, was not long observed; for I find by a Minute of 
Dec. 14, 1756, that the Examination of the Schools by the 
Trustees had been long neglected, and it was agreed that it 
should thereafter be done on the first Monday in every Month. 
And, yet notwithstanding this new Rule, the Neglect return'd, 
so that we are inform'd, by another Minute of Jan. 13, 1761, 
" that for 5 Months past there had not been one Meeting of the 
Trustees." In the Course of 14 Years several of the original 
Trustees, who had been dispos'd to favour the English 


School, deceased, and others not so favourable were chosen 
to supply their Places; however it appears by the Minutes, 
that the Remainder had some times Weight enough to recall 
the Attention of their Colleagues to that School, and obtain 
Acknowledgments of the unjust Neglect it had been treated 
with. Of this the following Extracts from the Minutes are 
authentic Proofs, viz. (Minute Book, Vol. I., Feb. 8, 1763;) 
"The State of the English School was taken into Considera- 
tion, and it was observed that Mr. Kinnersley's Time was 
entirely taken up in teaching little Boys the Elements of the 
English Language (that is it was dwindled into a School 
similar to those kept by old Women, who teach Children their 
Letters) ; and that Speaking and Rehearsing in Publick 
were totally disused, to the great Prejudice of the other 
Scholars and Students, and contrary to the ORIGINAL DESIGN 
of the Trustees in the forming of that School ; and as this was 
a matter of great Importance, it was particularly recommended 
to be fully considered by the Trustees at their next Meeting." 
At their next Meeting it was not considered : But This Min- 
ute contains full Proof of the Fact that the English Education 
had been neglected, and it contains an Acknowledgment 
that the Conduct of the English School was contrary to the 
original Design of the Trustees hi forming it. 

In the same Book of Minutes we find the following, of April 
12, 1763. "The State of the English School was again taken 
into Consideration, and it was the Opinion of the Trustees 
that the ORIGINAL DESIGN should be prosecuted, of teach- 
ing the Scholars of that (and the other Schools) the Elegance 
of the English Language, and giving them a proper Pronun- 
ciation ; and that the old Method of hearing them read and 
repeat in Publick sh d be again used : And a Committee was 



appointed to confer with Mr. Kinnersley how this might best 
be done, as well as what Assistance would be necessary to give 
Mr. Kinnersley to enable him to attend this necessary Service, 
which was indeed the PROPER BUSINESS of his Professorship." 

In this Minute we have another Acknowledgment of what 
was the original Design of the English School; but here 
are some Words thrown in to countenance an Innovation, 
which had been for some time practised. The Words are, 
("and the other schools.") Originally by the Constitutions, 
the Rector was to teach the Latin Scholars their English. 
The Words of the Constitution are, "The Rector shall be 
obliged, without the Assistance of any Usher, to teach 20 

Scholars the Latin and Greek Languages, and the 

English Tongue." To enable him to do this, we have seen 
that some of his Qualifications requir'd, were, his polite Speak- 
ing, Writing, and Understanding the English Tongue. Having 
these, he was enjoin'd, on all Occasions consistent with his 
other Duties, to assist the English Master in improving the 
Boys under his Care ; but there is not a Word obliging the 
English Master to teach the Latin Boys English. However, 
the Latin Masters, either unable to do it, or unwilling to take 
the Trouble, had got him up among them, and employ'd so 
much of his Time, that this Minute owns he could not, with- 
out farther Assistance, attend the necessary Service of his 
own School, which, as the Minute expressly says, "was 
indeed the proper Business of his Professorship." 

Notwithstanding this good Resolution of the Trustees, 
it seems the Execution of it was neglected ; and, the Publick 
not being satisfied, they were again haunted by the Friends of 
the Children with the old Complaint that the original Con- 
stitutions were not complied with, in regard to the English 


School. Their Situation was unpleasant. On the one hand 
there were still remaining some of the first Trustees, who were 
Friends to the Scheme of English Education, and these would 
now and then be remarking that it was neglected, and would 
be moving for a Reformation. The Constitutions at the same 
time, staring the Trustees in the Face, gave weight to these 
Remarks. On the other hand the Latinists were combin'd to 
decry the English School as useless. It was without Example, 
they said, as indeed they still say, that a School for teaching the 
Vulgar Tongue, and the Sciences in that Tongue, was ever 
joined with a College, and that the Latin Masters were fully 
competent to teach the English. 

I will not say that the Latinists look'd on every Expence 
upon the English School as so far disabling the Trustees from 
augmenting their Salaries, and therefore regarded it with an 
evil Eye ; but when I find the Minutes constantly fill'd with 
their Applications for higher Wages, I cannot but see their 
great Regard for Money Matters, and suspect a little their 
using their Interest and Influence to prevail with the Trus- 
tees not to encourage that School. And indeed the following 
Minute is so different in Spirit and Sentiment from that 
last recited, that one cannot avoid concluding that some 
extraordinary Pains must have been taken with the Trustees 
between the two Meetings of April 12 and June 13, to pro- 
duce a Resolution so very different, which here follows in 
this Minute, viz. " June 13, 1763 ; Some of the Parents of the 
Children in the Academy having complained that their 
Children were not taught to speak and read in publick and 
having requested that this useful Part of Education might 
be more attended to, Mr. Kinnersley was called in, and. 
desired to give an Ace* of what was done in this Branch of his 


Duty ; and he declared that this was well taught, not only in 
the English School, w ch was more immediately under his 
Care, but in the Philosophy Classes, regularly every Monday 
Afternoon, and as often at other times as his other Business 
would permit. And it not appearing to the Trustees that any 
more could at present be done, without partiality and great 
Inconvenience, and that this was all that was ever proposed 
to be done, they did not incline to make any Alteration, or to 
lay any farther Burthen on Mr. Kinnersley." Note here, that 
the English School had not for some Years preceding been 
visited by the Trustees. If it had they would have known the 
State of it without making this Enquiry of the Master. They 
might have judg'd, whether the Children more immediately 
under his Care were in truth well taught, without taking his 
Word for it, as it appears they did. But it seems he had a 
Merit which, when he pleaded it, effectually excus'd him. 
He spent his Time when out of the English School in instruct- 
ing the Philosophy Classes who were of the Latin Part of the 
Institution. Therefore they did not think proper to lay any 
farther Burthen upon him. 

It is a little difficult to conceive how these Trustees could 
bring themselves to declare, that "No more could be done in 
the English School than was then done, and that it was all 
that was ever propos'd to be done;" when their preceding 
Minute declares, that "the original Design was teaching 
Scholars the Elegance of the English Language, and giving 
them a proper Pronunciation; and that hearing them read 
and repeat in Publick was the old Method, and should be again 
used." And certainly the Method that had been used might 
be again used, if the Trustees had thought fit to order Mr. 
Kinnersley to attend his own School, and not spend his Time 


in the Philosophy Classes, where his Duty did not require his 
Attendance. What the apprehended Partiality was, which 
the Minute mentions, does not appear, and cannot easily be 
imagined; and the great Inconvenience of obliging him to 
attend his own School could only be depriving the Latinists 
of his Assistance, to which they had no right. 

The Trustees may possibly have suppos'd, that by this 
Resolution they had precluded all future Attempts to trouble 
them with respect to their Conduct of the English School. 
The Parents indeed, despairing of any Reformation, withdrew 
their Children, and plac'd them in private Schools, of which 
several now appear'd in the city, professing to teach what 
had been promis'd to be taught in the Academy; and they 
have since flourish'd and encreas'd by the Scholars the 
Academy might have had if it had perform'd its Engagements. 
But the Publick was not satisfy'd; and we find, five Years 
after, the English School appearing again, after 5 Years' 
Silence, haunting the Trustees like an evil Conscience, and 
reminding them of their Failure in Duty. For of their 
meetings Jan. 19 and 26, 1768, we find these Minutes. " Jan. 
19, 1768. It having been remarked, that the Schools suffer 
hi the Publick Esteem by the Discontinuance of public 
Speaking, a special meeting is to be called on Tuesday next, 
to consider the State of the English School, and to regulate 
such Matters as may be necessary." "Jan. 26; A Special 
Meeting. It is agreed to give Mr. Jon. Easton and Mr. 
Thomas Hall, at the Rate of Twenty-five Pounds per Ann 
each, for assisting Mr. Kinnersley in the English School, 
and taking Care of the same when he shall be employ'd in 
teaching the Students, in the Philosophy Classes and Gram- 
mar School, the Art of public Speaking. [A committee, Mr. 


Peters, Mr. Coxe, and Mr. Duche", with the masters, was 
appointed to fix rules and times for employing the youth in 
public speaking.] * Mr. Easton and Mr. Hall are to be paid 
out of a Fund to be raised by some public Performance for 
the Benefit of the College." 

It appears from these Minutes, i. That the Reputation 
of the Academy had suffered in the Publick Esteem by the 
Trustees' Neglect of that School. 2. That Mr. Kinnersley, 
whose sole Business it was to attend it, had been called from 
his Duty and employed in the Philosophy Classes and Latin 
Grammar School, teaching the Scholars there the art of 
public Speaking, which the Latinists used to boast they 
could teach themselves. 3. That the Neglect for so many 
Years of the English Scholars, by this Subtraction of their 
Master, was now acknowledged, and propos'd to be reme- 
died for the future by engaging two Persons, Mr. Hall and Mr. 
Easton, at 25 each per Ann, to take care of those Scholars, 
while Mr. Kinnersley was employ'd among the Latinists. 

Care was however taken by the Trustees, not to be at any 
Expence for this Assistance to Mr. Kinnersley ; for Hall and 
Easton were only to be paid out of the uncertain Fund of 
Money to be raised by some public Performance for the 
Benefit of the Colledge. 

A committee was however now appointed to fix Rules and 
Times for employing the Youth in public Speaking. Whether 
any thing was done in consequence of these Minutes does not 
appear ; no Report of the Committee respecting their Doings 
being to be found on the Records, and the Probability is that 
they did, as heretofore, nothing to the purpose. For the 
English School continued to decline, and the first subsequent 

1 Paragraph in brackets is stricken out of Ms. in L. C. ED. 


Mention we find made of it, is in the Minute of March 21, 
1769, when the Design began to be entertained of abolishing 
it altogether, whereby the Latinists would get rid of an Eye- 
sore, and the Trustees of what occasioned them such frequent 
Trouble. The Minute is this; "The State of the English 
School is to be taken into Consideration at next Meeting, and 
whether it be proper to continue it on its present Footing or 
not." This Consideration was, however not taken at the next 
Meeting, at least nothing was concluded so as to be minuted ; 
nor do we find any farther Mention of the English School 
till the 1 8th of July, when the following Minute was entered ; 
viz. "A Special Meeting is appointed to be held on Monday 
next, and Notice to be given that the Design of this Meeting 
is to consider whether the English School is to be longer con- 

This special Meeting was accordingly held on the 23d of 
July, 1769, of which Date is the following Minute and Resolu- 
tion; viz. "The Trustees at this Meeting, as well as several 
former ones, having taken into their serious Consideration the 
State of the English School, are unanimously of Opinion, 
that as the said School is far from defraying the Expence at 
which they now support it, and not thinking that they ought 
to lay out any great Part of the Funds entrusted to them on 
this Branch of Education, which can so easily be procur'd at 
other Schools in this City, have Resolved, that from and after 
the 1 7th of October next, Mr. Kinnersley's present Salary do 
cease, and that from that time the said School, if he shall be 
inclined to keep it, shall be on the following Footing ; viz. that 
he shall have the free Use of the Room where he now teaches, 
and also the whole Tuition-Money arising from the Boys 
that may be taught by him, and that he continue Professor 


of English and Oratory, and as such, have the house he lives 
in Rent-free, in Consideration of his giving two Afternoons in 
the Week as heretofore, for the Instruction of the Students 
belonging to the College in public Speaking, agreeable to such 
Rules as are or shall be made for that purpose by the Trustees 
and Faculty. It is farther ordered by this Regulation, that 
the Boys belonging to his School shall be still considered as 
Part of the Youth belonging to the College, and under the 
same general Government of the Trustees and Faculty ; and 
such of his Scholars as may attend the Mathematical or any 
other Master having a Salary from the College, for any part 
of their Time, shall pay proportionably into the Fund of the 
Trustees, to be accounted for by Mr. Kinnersley, and deduct 
out of the 20 per quarter now paid by the English Scholars." 

The Trustees hope this Regulation may be agreeable to Mr. 
Kinnersley, as it proceeds entirely from the Reasons set 
forth above, and not from any Abatement of that Esteem 
which they have always retain'd for him, during the whole 
Course of his Services in College. 

Upon this and some of the preceding Minutes, we may 
observe; i. That the English School having been long 
neglected, the Scholars were so diminish'd in Number as to be 
far from defraying the Expence in supporting it. 2. That 
the Instruction they receiv'd there, instead of a compleat 
English Education, which had been promised to the Sub- 
scribers by the original Constitutions, were only such as might 
easily be procured at other Schools in this City. 3. That 
this unprofitableness of the English School, owing to Neglect 
of Duty in the Trustees, was now offered as a Reason for 
demolishing it altogether. For it was easy to see, that, after 
depriving the Master of his Salary, he could not long afford 


to continue it. 4. That if the Insufficiency of the Tuition- 
Money in the English School to pay the Expence, and the 
Ease with which the Scholars might obtain equal Instruction 
in other Schools, were good Reasons for depriving the Master 
of his Salary and destroying that School, they were equally 
good for dismissing the Latin Masters, and sending their 
Scholars to other Schools; since it is notorious that the 
Tuition- Money of the Latin School did not pay much above 
a fourth Part of the Salaries of the Masters. For such 
Reasons the Trustees might equally well have got rid of all 
the Scholars and all the Masters, and remain'd in full Pos- 
session of all the College Property, without any future Ex- 
pence. 5. That by thus refusing any longer to support, 
instead of Reforming, as they ought to have done, the English 
School, they shamefully broke through and set at nought the 
original Constitutions, for the due Execution of which the 
Faith of the original Trustees had been solemnly pledged to 
the Publick and diverted the Revenues, proceeding from much 
of the first Subscriptions, to other Purposes than those which 
had been promised. Had the Assembly, when disposed to dis- 
franchise the Trustees, set their Foot upon this Ground, their 
Proceeding to declare the Forfeiture would have been more 
justifiable ; and it may be hop'd Care will now be taken not 
to give any future Assembly the same Handle. 

It seems, however, that this unrighteous Resolve did not 
pass the Trustees without a Qualm in some of them. For 
at the next Meeting a Reconsideration was moved, and we 
find the following Minute under the Date of August i, 1769; 
"The Minute of last Meeting relative to the English School 
was read, and after mature Deliberation and reconsidering 
the same, it was voted to stand as it is, provided it should not 


be found any way repugnant to the first Charter granted to 
the Academy, a Copy of which was ordered to be procured 
out of the Rolls Office." 

One might have thought it natural for the Trustees to have 
consulted this Charter before they took the Resolution, and 
not only the first Charter, but the original Constitutions; 
but, as it seems they had lost the Instrument containing the 
Charter, and, tho' it had been printed, not one of them was 
furnished with a Copy to which he might refer, it is no 
wonder that they had forgot the Constitutions made 20 
Years before, to which they do not seem to have in the least 

Probably, however, the Trustees found, when they came to 
examine original Papers, that they could not easily get entirely 
rid of the English School, and so concluded to continue it. 
For I find in a Law for Premiums, minuted under the Date 
of Jan. 29, 1770, that the English and mathematical School 
is directed to be examined the 3d Tuesday in July, and a 
Premium Book of the Value of One Dollar was to be given 
to him that reads best, and understands best the English 
Grammar, &c. This is very well; but to keep up the old 
Partiality in favour of the Latin School, the Premium to its 
Boys was to be of the Value of two Dollars. In the Pre- 
miums for best Speaking, they were indeed put upon an 

After Reading this Law for Premiums, I looked forward 
to the third Tuesday in July with some pleasing Expecta- 
tion of their Effect on the Examination required for that Day. 
But I met with only this farther Record of the Inattention 
of the Trustees to their new Resolutions and even Laws, 
when they contained any thing favourable to the English 


School. The Minute is only this ; " July, August, September, 
October, no Business done." 

On the 2oth of November, however, I find there was an 
Examination of the Latin school, and Premiums, with pom- 
pous Inscriptions, afterwards adjudged to Latin Scholars ; 
but I find no Mention of any to the English, or that they were 
even examined. Perhaps there might have been none to 
examine, or the school discontinu'd : For it appears by a 
Minute of July 21, following, that the Provost was desired 
to advertise for a Master able to teach English Grammatically, 
which it seems was all the English Master was now required 
to teach, the other Branches originally promised being dropt 

In October 1772 Mr. Kinnersley resigned his Professor- 
ship, when Dr. Peters and others were appointed to consider 
on what footing the English School shall be put for the future, 
that a new Master may be thought of, and Mr. Willing to 
take care of the School for the present at 50 Pounds per Ann. 
It is observable here that there is no Mention of putting it 
on its original Footing, and the Salary is shrunk amazingly ; 
but this Resignation of Mr. Kinnersley gave Occasion to 
one Testimony of the Utility of the English Professor to the 
Institution, notwithstanding all the Partiality, Neglect, 
Slights, Discouragements, and Injustice that School had 
suffered. We find it in the Minutes of a special Meeting on 
the 2d of Feb y , 1773, present Dr. Peters, Mr. Chew, Mr. 
Lawrence, Mr. Willing, Mr. Trettel, and Mr. Inglis, and 
expressed in these strong Terms. 

"The college suffers greatly since Mr. Kinnersley left it, 
for want of a Person to teach public Speaking, so that the 
present Classes have not those Opportunities of learning to 


declaim and speak which have been of so much Use to their 
Predecessors, and have contributed greatly to raise the Credit 
of the Institution!" 

Here is another Confession that the Latinists were unequal 
to the Task of teaching English Eloquence, tho' on occasion 
the contrary is still asserted. 

I flatter myself, Gentlemen, that it appears by this time 
pretty clearly from our own Minutes, that the original Plan 
of the English school has been departed from; that the 
Subscribers to it have been disappointed and deceived, and 
the Faith of the Trustees not kept with them ; that the Publick 
have been frequently dissatisfied with the Conduct of the 
Trustees, and complained of it; that, by the niggardly 
Treatment of Good Masters, they have been driven out of 
the School, and the Scholars have followed, while a great Loss 
of Revenue has been suffered by the Academy ; for that the 
numerous Schools now in the City owe their Rise to our 
Mismanagement, and that we might as well have had the 
best Part of the Tuition-Money paid into our Treasury, that 
now goes into private Pockets; that there has been a con- 
stant Disposition to depress the English School in favour of 
the Latin ; and that every Means to procure a more equitable 
Treatment has been rendered ineffectual; so that no more 
Hope remains while they continue to have any Connection. 
It is, therefore, that, wishing as much good to the Latinists 
as their System can honestly procure for them, we now de- 
mand a Separation, and without desiring to injure them; 
but claiming an equitable Partition of our joint Stock, we 
wish to execute the Plan they have so long defeated, and 
afford the Publick the Means of a compleat English Educa- 


I am the only one of the original Trustees now living, and 
I am just stepping into the Grave myself. I am afraid that 
some Part of the Blame incurred by the Trustees may be 
laid on me, for having too easily submitted to the Deviations 
from the Constitution, and not opposing them with sufficient 
Zeal and Earnestness; tho' indeed my Absence in foreign 
Countries at different Tunes for near 30 Years, tended much 
to weaken my Influence. To make what Amends are yet 
in my Power, I seize this Opportunity, the last I may possibly 
have, of bearing Testimony against those Deviations. I seem 
here to be surrounded by the Ghosts of my dear departed 
Friends, beckoning and urging me to use the only Tongue 
now left us, in demanding that Justice to our Grandchildren, 
that our Children has been denied. And I hope they will 
not be sent away discontented. 

The Origin of Latin and Greek Schools among the different 
Nations of Europe is known to have been this, that until 
between 3 and 400 Years past there were no Books in any 
other Language ; all the Knowledge then contain'd in Books, 
viz. the Theology, the Jurisprudence, the Physic, the Art- 
military, the Politicks, the Mathematics and Mechanics, 
the Natural and moral Philosophy, the Logic and Rhetoric, 
the Chemistry, the Pharmacy, the Architecture, and every 
other Branch of Science, being in those Languages, it was of 
course necessary to learn them, as the Gates through which 
Men must pass to get at that Knowledge. 

The Books then existing were manuscript, and these con- 
sequently so dear, that only the few Wealthy enclin'd to 
Learning could afford to purchase them. The common 
People were not even at the Pains of learning to read, because, 
after taking that Pains, they would have nothing to read 


that they could understand without learning the ancient 
Languages, nor then without Money to purchase the Manu- 
scripts. And so few were the learned Readers 60 Years after 
the Invention of Printing, that it appears by Letters still 
extant between the Printers in 1499, that they could not 
throughout Europe find Purchasers for more than 300 Copies 
of any ancient Authors. But Printing beginning now to 
make Books cheap, the Readers increas'd so much as to make 
it worth while to write and print Books in the Vulgar Tongues. 
At first these were chiefly Books of Devotion and little His- 
tories ; gradually several Branches of Science began to appear 
in the common Languages, and at this Day the whole Body 
of Science, consisting not only of Translations, from all the 
valuable ancients, but of all the new modern Discoveries, 
is to be met with in those Languages, so that learning the 
ancient for the purpose of acquiring Knowledge is become 
absolutely unnecessary. 

But there is in Mankind an unaccountable Prejudice in 
favour of ancient Customs and Habitudes, which inclines to 
a Continuance of them after the Circumstances, which 
formerly made them useful, cease to exist. A Multitude of 
Instances might be given, but it may suffice to mention one. 
Hats were once thought an useful Part of Dress ; it was said 
they kept the Head warm and screen'd it from the violent 
Impression of the sun's Rays, and from the Rain, Snow, 
Hail, &c. Tho' by the Way, this was not the more ancient 
Opinion or Practice ; for among all the Remains of Antiquity, 
the Bustos, Statues, Coins, medals, &c., which are infinite, 
there is no Representation of a human Figure with a Cap or 
Hat on, nor any Covering for the Head, unless it be the Head 
of a Soldier, who has a Helmet ; but that is evidently not a 


Part of Dress for Health, but as a Protection from the Strokes 
of a Weapon. 

At what Time Hats were first introduced we know not, 
but in the last Century they were universally worn thro'out 
Europe. Gradually, however, as the Wearing of Wigs, 
and Hair nicely dress'd prevailed, the putting on of Hats 
was disused by genteel People, lest the curious Arrangements 
of the Curls and Powdering should be disordered; and 
Umbrellas began to supply their Place; yet still our Con- 
sidering the Hat as a part of Dress continues so far to prevail, 
that a Man of fashion is not thought dress'd without having 
one, or something like one, about him, which he carries under 
his Arm. So that there are a multitude of the politer people 
in all the courts and capital cities of Europe, who have never, 
nor their fathers before them, worn a hat otherwise than as 
a chapeau bras, though the utility of such a mode of wearing 
it is by no means apparent, and it is attended not only with 
some expense, but with a degree of constant trouble. 

The still prevailing custom of having schools for teaching 
generally our children, in these days, the Latin and Greek 
languages, I consider therefore, in no other light than as 
the Chapeau bras of modern Literature. 

Thus the Time spent in that Study might, it seems, be 
much better employ'd in the Education for such a Country 
as ours; and this was indeed the Opinion of most of the 
original Trustees. 1 

1 Mr. Robert Hare wrote to the executors of Benjamin Franklin, Philadel- 
phia, May 21, 1790: "This manuscript was put into my hands by Dr. Frank- 
lin for my inspection, in the last summer, at which time some alterations in 
the System of Education pursued in the English school at the College were 
under consideration. It was at that time the intention of the Doctor that the 
Contents should be submitted to the Trustees. He afterward told me, his ill 



Philadelphia, June 3, 1789. 


I received your kind letter of March 4th, and wish I may 
be able to complete what you so earnestly desire, the Memoirs 
of my Life. But of late I am so interrupted by extreme 
pain, which obliges me to have recourse to opium, that, be- 
tween the effects of both, I have but little time in which I 
can write any thing. My grandson, however, is copying 
what is done, which will be sent to you for your opinion by 
the next vessel; and not merely for your opinion, but for 
your advice; for I find it a difficult task to speak decently 
and properly of one's own conduct; and I feel the want of 
a judicious friend to encourage me in scratching out. 

I have condoled sincerely with the Bishop of St. Asaph's 
family. He was an excellent man. Losing our friends 
thus one by one, is the tax we pay for long living ; and it is 
indeed a heavy one. 

I have not seen the King of Prussia's posthumous works ; 
what you mention makes me desirous to have them. Please 
to mention it to your brother William, and that I request him 
to add them to the books I have desired him to buy for me. 

Health would not permit him to engage personally in these pursuits but that 
these papers would afford Testimony of his Sentiments. In the mean time he 
wish'd them to remain in my hands to furnish information in support of the 
Changes in view. As these changes are no longer in contemplation I have 
not thought myself at liberty to detain the papers. I have not permitted them 
to be inspected by other persons nor have taken any copy. 

" R. Hare." ED. 

1 From "The Private Correspondence of Benjamin Franklin" (1818), Vol. 
I, p. 251. ED. 

1789] TO MRS. JANE MECOM 33 

Our new government is now in train, and seems to promise 
well. But events are in the hand of God. I am ever, my 
dear friend, yours most affectionately, 


1765. TO MRS. JANE MECOM (L. c.) 

Philad% Aug* 3, 1789. 

I have receiv'd your kind Letter of the 23d past and am 
glad to learn, that you have at length got some of the letters 
I so long since wrote to you. I think your PostOffice is 
very badly managed. I expect your Bill, and shall pay it 
when it appears. I would have you put the Books into 
cousin Jonathan's Hands, who will dispose of them for you, 
if he can, or return them hither. I am very much pleased 
to hear, that you have had no Misunderstanding with his 
father. Indeed, if there had been any such, I should have 
concluded, it was your fault ; for I think our Family were 
always subject to being a little Miffy. 

By the way, is our Relationship in Nantucket quite worn- 
out ? I have met with none from thence of late years, who 
were disposed to be acquainted with me, except Captain 
Timothy Foulger. They are wonderfully shy. But I ad- 
mire their honest plainness of Speech. About a year ago I 
invited two of them to dine with me. Their answer was, that 
they would, if they could not do better. I suppose they did 
better ; for I never saw them afterwards, and so had no Op- 
portunity of showing my Miff, if I had one. 

Give [mutilated] to Cousin Williams's and thank them 
from me for all their Kindnesses to you which I have always 



been acquainted with by you, and take as if done by my- 
self. I am sorry to learn from his Son that his Health is 
not so firm as formerly. A Journey hither by Land might 
do him good, and I should be happy to see him. 

I shall make the Addition you desire to my Superscrip- 
tions, desiring in return that you would make a subtraction 
from yours. The Word Excellency does not belong to me, 
and Doctor will be sufficient to distinguish me from my grand- 
son. 1 This family joins in love to you and yours. 

Your affectionate Brother 


1766. TO M. LE VEILLARD (L. c.) 

Philadelphia, Sep r 5, 1789. 

DEAR FRIEND: I have had Notice of sundry Books 
sent out by you, but none of them are come to hand except 
the " Dictionnaire d' Agriculture," by 1'Abbe" Rozier. My 
Grandson also complains of not receiving a Package or Case 
sent by you to him, he knows not by what Conveyance, nor 
where to enquire for it. 

It is long since I have had the Pleasure of hearing from you, 
the last Letter I have received being dated the 2ist of Feb- 
ruary, but when I have no new Letter from you, I console my- 
self by reading over some of the old ones, as I have lately done 
those of the ist April, '88, and the zoth of Oct* and 2;th 

1 On this point his sister replied : " I was a little suspicious whether 
Excellency-was according to rule in addressing my brother at this time; but I 
did not write the address; and of late, because he lives nearer than cousin 
Williams, I have sent my letters to Dr. Lathrop, who is very obliging to me, 
and I thought he must know what is right, and I gave no directions about it. 
But I shall do it another time." August 23 d, S. 

1789] TO M. LE VEILLARD 35 

NovT, '88. Every time I read what you write, I receive 
fresh Pleasure, I have already answered those last-mentioned 
Letters, and now have before me that of the 2ist of Feb y 
only. I am sorry my Friend Morris failed in the Attention 
he ought to have shown you but I hope you will excuse it 
when you consider that an American transported from the 
tranquil Villages of his Country and set down in the Tour- 
billon of such a great City as Paris must necessarily be for 
some Days half out of his Senses. 

I hope you have perfectly recovered of the Effects of your 
Fall at Madam Helve tius', and that you now enjoy perfect 
Health ; as to mine, I can give you no good Account. I have 
a long time been afflicted with almost constant and grievous 
Pain, to combat which I have been obliged to have recourse 
to Opium, which indeed has afforded me some Ease from 
time to time, but then it has taken away my Appetite and 
so impeded my Digestion that I am become totally emaciated, 
and little remains of me but a Skeleton covered with a Skin. 
In this Situation I have not been able to continue my Memoirs, 
and now I suppose I shall never finish them. Benjamin 
has made a Copy of what is done, for you, which shall be sent 
by the first safe Opportunity. I make no Remarks to you 
concerning your Public Affairs, being too remote to form 
just Opinions concerning them; indeed I wonder that you, 
who are at the same Distance from us, make so very few 
Mistakes in your Judgment of our Affairs. At present we 
think them in a good Way; the Congress are employed in 
amending some of their Faults supposed to be in our Con- 
stitution, and it is expected that in a few Weeks the Machine 
will be in orderly Motion. The Piece of M. Target, which 
you mention as having sent me, is not come to hand. I am 


sorry to hear of the Scarcity which has afflicted your Country, 
we have had here a most plentiful Harvest of all the Produc- 
tions of the Earth without Exception, and I suppose some 
Supplies will be sent to you from hence, tho' the Term during 
which the Importation was permitted by your Government 
was too short considering the Distance. 

My Family join in every affectionate Sentiment respecting 
you and yours, with your sincere Friend, 




Power of this Court. 

IT may receive and promulgate accusations of all kinds, 
against all persons and characters among the citizens of the 
State, and even against all inferior courts; and may judge, 
sentence, and condemn to infamy, not only private individ- 
uals, but public bodies, &c., with or without inquiry or 
hearing, at the court's discretion. 

In whose Favour and for whose Emolument this Court is 


In favour of about one citizen in five hundred, who, by 
education or practice in scribbling, has acquired a tolerable 
style as to grammar and construction, so as to bear printing ; 
or who is possessed of a press and a few types. This five 


hundredth part of the citizens have the privilege of accusing 
and abusing the other four hundred and ninety-nine parts 
at their pleasure ; or they may hire out their pens and press 
to others for that purpose. 

Practice 0} the Court. 

It is not governed by any of the rules of common courts of 
law. The accused is allowed no grand jury to judge of the 
truth of the accusation before it is publicly made, nor is the 
Name of the Accuser made known to him, nor has he an 
Opportunity of confronting the Witnesses against him; for 
they are kept in the dark, as in the Spanish Court of Inquisi- 
tion. Nor is there any petty Jury of his Peers, sworn to try 
the Truth of the Charges. The Proceedings are also some- 
times so rapid, that an honest, good Citizen may find himself 
suddenly and unexpectedly accus'd, and in the same Morn- 
ing judg'd and condemn'd, and sentence pronounc'd against 
him, that he is a Rogue and a Villain. Yet, if an officer of 
this court receives the slightest check for misconduct in this 
his office, he claims immediately the rights of a free citizen 
by the constitution, and demands to know his accuser, to 
confront the witnesses, and to have a fair trial by a jury of 
his peers. 

The Foundation of its Authority. 

It is said to be founded on an Article of the Constitution 
of the State, which establishes the Liberty of the Press; a 
Liberty which every Pennsylvanian would fight and die for; 
tho' few of us, I believe, have distinct Ideas of its Nature 
and Extent. It seems indeed somewhat like the Liberty of 
the Press that Felons have, by the Common Law of England, 


before Conviction, that is, to be pressed to death or hanged. 
If by the Liberty of the Press were understood merely the 
Liberty of discussing the Propriety of Public Measures and 
political opinions, let us have as much of it as you please : 
But if it means the Liberty of affronting, calumniating, and 
defaming one another, I, for my part, own myself willing to 
part with my Share of it when our Legislators shall please 
so to alter the Law, and shall cheerfully consent to exchange 
my Liberty of Abusing others for the Privilege of not being 
abus'd myself. 

By whom this Court is commissioned or constituted. 

It is not by any Commission from the Supreme Executive 
Council, who might previously judge of the Abilities, Integrity, 
Knowledge, &c. of the Persons to be appointed to this great 
Trust, of deciding upon the Characters and good Fame of 
the Citizens ; for this Court is above that Council, and may 
accuse, judge, and condemn it, at pleasure. Nor is it hereditary, 
as in the Court of dernier Resort, in the Peerage of England. 
But any Man who can procure Pen, Ink, and Paper, with a 
Press, and a huge pair of BLACKING Balls, may commissionate 
himself; and his court is immediately established in the 
plenary Possession and exercise of its rights. For, if you 
make the least complaint of the judge's conduct, he daubs 
his blacking balls in your face wherever he meets you ; and, 
besides tearing your private character to flitters, marks you 
out for the odium of the public, as an enemy to the liberty of 
the press. 

Of the natural Support of these Courts. 

Their support is founded in the depravity of such minds, 
as have not been mended by religion, nor improved by good 
education ; 


" There is a Lust in Man no Charm can tame, 
Of loudly publishing his Neighbour's Shame." 

Hence ; 

" On Eagle's Wings immortal Scandals fly, 
While virtuous Actions are but born and die." 


Whoever feels pain in hearing a good character of his 
neighbour, will feel a pleasure in the reverse. And of those 
who, despairing to rise into distinction by their virtues, are 
happy if others can be depressed to a level with themselves, 
there are a number sufficient in every great town to maintain 
one of these courts by their subscriptions. A shrewd ob- 
server once said, that, in walking the streets in a slippery 
morning, one might see where the good-natured people lived 
by the ashes thrown on the ice before their doors ; probably 
he would have formed a different conjecture of the temper 
of those whom he might find engaged in such a subscription. 

Of the Checks proper to be established against the Abuse of 
Power in these Courts. 

Hitherto there are none. But since so much has been 
written and published on the federal Constitution, and the 
necessity of checks in all other parts of good government 
has been so clearly and learnedly explained, I find myself 
so far enlightened as to suspect some check may be proper in 
this part also ; but I have been at a loss to imagine any that 
may not be construed an infringement of the sacred liberty 
of the press. At length, however, I think I have found one 
that, instead of diminishing general liberty, shall augment 
it ; which is, by restoring to the people a species of liberty, 
of which they have been deprived by our laws, I mean the 
liberty of the cudgel. In the rude state of society prior to the 


existence of laws, if one man gave another ill language, the 
affronted person would return it by a box on the ear, and, if 
repeated, by a good drubbing; and this without offending 
against any law. But now the right of making such returns 
is denied, and they are punished as breaches of the peace; 
while the right of abusing seems to remain in full force, the 
laws made against it being rendered ineffectual by the liberty 
of the press. 

My proposal then is, to leave the liberty of the press un- 
touched, to be exercised in its full extent, force, and vigor; 
but to permit the liberty of the cudgel to go with it pari passu. 
Thus, my fellow-citizens, if an impudent writer attacks your 
reputation, dearer to you perhaps than your life, and puts 
his name to the charge, you may go to him as openly and 
break his head. If he conceals himself behind the printer, 
and you can nevertheless discover who he is, you may in like 
manner way-lay him in the night, attack him behind, and give 
him a good drubbing. Thus far goes my project as to private 
resentment and retribution. But if the public should ever 
happen to be affronted, as it ought to be, with the conduct of 
such writers, I would not advise proceeding immediately 
to these extremities ; but that we should in moderation con- 
tent ourselves with tarring and feathering, and tossing them 
in a blanket. 

If, however, it should be thought that this proposal of mine 
may disturb the public peace, I would then humbly recom- 
mend to our legislators to take up the consideration of both 
liberties, that of the press, and that of the cudgel, and by an 
explicit law mark their extent and limits ; and, at the same 
time that they secure the person of a citizen from assaults, 
they would likewise provide for the security of his reputation. 



Philad a , Sept. 16, 1789 


My Malady renders my Sitting up to write rather painful 
to me ; but I cannot let my Son-in-law Mr. Bache part for 
New York, without congratulating you by him on the Re- 
covery of your Health, so precious to us all, and on the grow- 
ing Strength of our New Government under your Adminis- 
tration. For my own personal Ease, I should have died two 
Years ago; but, tho' those Years have been spent in excru- 
ciating Pain, I am pleas'd that I have liv'd them, since they 
have brought me to see our present Situation. I am now 
finishing my 84th [year], and probably with it my Career 
in this Life ; but in whatever State of Existence I am plac'd 
hereafter, if I retain any Memory of what has pass'd here, 
I shall with it retain the Esteem, Respect, and Affection, 
with which I have long been, my dear Friend, yours most 
sincerely, B. FRANKLIN. 2 

1 In Washington Papers, Vol. 74, p. 132. ED. 

2 Washington replied to this letter as follows: 

" New York, September, 23, 1789. (A. P. s.) 

" The affectionate congratulations on the recovery of my health, and the 
warm expressions of personal friendship, which were contained in your letter 
of the i6th instant, claim my gratitude. And the consideration, that it was 
written when you were afflicted with a painful malady, greatly increases my 
obligation for it. 

" Would to God, my dear Sir, that I could congratulate you upon the 
removal of that excruciating pain, under which you labour, and that your exist- 
ence might close with as much ease to yourself, as its continuance has been 
beneficial to our country and useful to mankind; or, if the united wishes of a 
free people, joined with the earnest prayers of every friend to science and 
humanity, could relieve the body from pains or infirmities, that you could 


1769. TO COMTE DE MONTMORIN l (L. c.) 

Philadelphia 21' Sept. 1789. 

SIR : Tho' I have not the Vanity to suppose that I have 
any Influence with your Excellency, yet I cannot at the re- 
quest of Mr. Le Ray de Chaumont, Jr., refuse him this Testi- 
mony of my Regard. He has resided in this Country near 
four Years, during which time he has constantly conducted 
himself with so much Probity and Discretion as to gain the 
esteem of all Ranks, and by his living in the House of M. de 
Marbois, Consul of France at this Port, who has occasionally 
employ'd him in the Duties of that office, he has thereby 
acquired a Knowledge of that Business, sufficient to enable 
him to execute it. Should it please your Excellency to appoint 
him in the Room of M. de Marbois, who, as I understand, is 
likely to be otherwise provided for. By M. de Chaumont's 
Knowledge of the Business, the Language of the Country, 
and the high Esteem in which he is held here, I am Confident 
that his appointment would be both useful to his Sovereign 
and agreable to the Government and Citizens of this State. 

claim an exemption on this score. But this cannot be, and you have within 
yourself the only resource to which we can confidently apply for relief, a philo- 
sophic mind. 

" If to be venerated for benevolence, if to be admired for talents, if to be 
esteemed for patriotism, if to be beloved for philanthropy, can gratify the human 
mind, you must have the pleasing consolation to know, that you have not lived 
in vain. And I flatter myself that it will not be ranked among the least grateful 
occurrences of your life to be assured, that, so long as I retain my memory, you 
will be recollected with respect, veneration, and affection by your sincere 

1 Armand-Marc, Comte de Montmorin Saint-Herem (1745-1792), was 
appointed in 1787 minister of foreign affairs. ED. 


I hope your Excellency will excuse the Liberty I have taken, 
and believe me, with great Respect, sir your Excellency, etc. 


1770. TO MRS. JANE MECOM (L. c.) 

Philada., October 19, 1789. 

DEAR SISTER : I received your kind Letter of September 
the loth, by Cousin John Williams. I have also received 
and paid your Bill, and am pleased that you added to it on 
Account of your Wood. As to my Health, it continues as 
usual, sometimes better, sometimes worse, and with 
respect to the Happiness hereafter which you mention, I 
have no Doubts about it, confiding as I do in the goodness 
of that Being who, thro' so long a Life, has conducted me 
with so many Instances of it. This Family joins in best 
wishes of Happiness to you and your's with your affectionate 
Brother, B. FRANKLIN. 

1771. TO "SYLVANUS URBAN ESQ." (L. c.) 

New York, Oct. 20, 1789 

IN your valuable Magazine 1 for July, 1788, 1 find a review 
of Dr. Kippis' "Life of Cook," containing the following 
Remark, viz.: "The Protection afforded to this Discoverer 
by the Court of France redounds highly to Mr. Turgot's 
Honour, while the narrow-souled Americans did all they could 
to obstruct him." I think the Writer of this Remark will 

1 The Gentleman's Magazine, It was edited in 1788 and 1789 by J. 
Nichols and D. Henry. The latter is to be understood as the " Sylvanus 
Urban " to whom the letter is addressed. ED. 


find it difficult to produce a single Instance, well authenti- 
cated, of any such Endeavour, used by the Americans ; but 
I happen to have it in my Power to produce a strong con- 
trary Instance, which I send you enclosed, and doubt not of 
your doing so much Justice to the Americans as to make this 
Refutation of the Calumny equally public with the Calumny 
itself, by inserting it also in your Magazine. It is a true 
Copy of the circular-Letter sent by Dr. Franklin to all of 
the Commanders of the American Cruisers, then in the Euro- 
pean Seas; which was so well known to and so well taken 
by the Government in England that when Cook's Voyage 
was printed the Admiralty sent to that Gentleman an elegant 
Copy of it, with a very polite Letter from Lord Howe, express- 
ing that the Present was made with his Majesty's Approba- 
tion. The Royal Society also on the same Occasion pre- 
sented him with one of the Gold Medals struck by them of 
that illustrious Navigator, accompanied by a Letter from 
Sir Joseph Banks, their President, expressing likewise that 
it was sent with the Approbation of his Majesty. These 
I have seen ; and I wonder much that the Writer, who gives 
so particular an Account of the Distribution of those gold 
Medals, should be unacquainted with this Circumstance. 

I am etc. 



Philad a Oct. 26, 1789 


I received your Letter from Boston just as you were about 
to depart for Virginia together with your Father's Account 

1 From the original in the possession of Mr. Louis A. Biddle. ED. 


which makes a Balance of upwards of 20. due to me. 
As he has taken a great deal of Trouble in my Sister's Affairs 
I do not think it right to expect Payment of that Ballance 
and have therefore wrote to him by your Brother enclosing a 
Receipt in full for the same. 

I am glad you have disposed of the little Book for my 
Sister tho' at so low a rate. If you go from Virginia to Eng- 
land without calling here give my Love to your Wife and 
Sisters, and to Mr. Alexander, your Uncle, and let Mrs. 
Williams know that I shall be happy to see her and her sweet 
Girl arrive here with you. My best Wishes attend you, 

being ever, 

Your affectionate Uncle 



Philadelphia, Oct. 26, 1789 


You may remember, that two or three Years ago, I com- 
municated to you a Claim I had upon the State of Virginia, 
on Account of a Purchase it had made of some Types & other 
printing Materials belonging to me at the Beginning of the 
Troubles ; The Value could not at that Time be ascertained. 
Mr. Bache, my Attorney, being unacquainted with it ; & my 
Papers and Accounts being lost & destroyed during the 
late Confusions. I have now no Means of discovering what 
the Quantity was of the Types & what they cost me ; I 
only remember that there was a Fount of Law-Character 
for which I paid 30^ Sterl? & a large Fount of Greek which 
I think was valued at about 40^ Sterl. besides a very con- 


siderable Fount of Long-Primer, the Weight of which I 
forget, but suppose it might be about 5oo lb which at 1/6 per 
Ib amounted to 37^ io/ Sterl 8 . There were also some Cases 
& other Things of which I cannot speak particularly. You 
were so kind as to offer me your Assistance in procuring from 
the Government some Satisfaction for this Claim, I now take 
the Liberty to request that you would endeavour it as soon as 
possible, as I wish to have all my Affairs settled before my 
Departure: The Law-Fount & the Greek were probably 
of no Use to the Government, & I should be willing to take 
them back if they still exist, and are entire. I suppose that 
the Value of Goods at that Time will be considered, as well 
as the Length of Time during which the Payment has been 
delayed. I submit the Whole to the Honour & Equity of 
the Government, & shall be thankful for what they will be 
pleased to allow me. My best Wishes attend you, being ever 
My Dear Friend, 

Your's most affectionately 



FILS (L. c.) 

Philadelphia, Oct. 3i 8t , 1789. 

DEAR FRIEND : I was too much indisposed yesterday 
to write in answer to your affecting Letter, but I have con- 
sidered the Case very attentively and will now give you the 
Result. In the first Place, what you demand of me is im- 
practicable The Sum I have to draw upon in France being 
but little more than half of what you require ; and upon that 


small Sum, tho' my late extraordinary Expences in Building 
have much straitened me in furnishing my ordinary Ex- 
pences, I dare not draw, under the present Circumstances 
of Affairs in that Country, lest thro' the Lowness of the Funds 
I should lose perhaps half my Property in selling out to pay 
the Bills, or in Case of public Bankruptcy, which I find is 
apprehended by many as a possible Case, my Bills should be 
returned under a Protest which, besides the Damages, would 
extremely embarrass me. By the last Accounts I received 
I suffered a loss of 15 per cent, in the Sale of my Funds to 
produce Money for the Payment of a Bill for 10,000 Livres, 
which I sold towards the End of the last Year, and we now 
learn from the public Prints that the new proposed Loan of 
30 Millions does not fill, and that Mr. Neckar is discouraged 
and in bad Health, which together has occasioned the Funds 
to fall much lower. In the next Place, it seems to me that 
in your present Circumstances (excuse my Freedom in pre- 
suming to give you my Advice), it would be more adviseable 
for you to remain here a few Months longer, in order to finish 
your Affair with the Congress. They meet again in the Be- 
ginning of January, and there is no Doubt but the Officers 
thro' whose Hands such Affairs must pass, will be present, 
and your Accounts having been already examined and passed, 
I am of your Opinion, that they will probably be some of the 
first paid. Money, I think, will not be wanting, as it is 
thought that the immense Importation of Goods lately made 
into this Port must produce at least one-fourth of the Import 
expected from the whole of the United States. If you should 
be absent at the next Meeting of Congress it may occasion a 
still further Delay of Payment for want of somebody present 
to solicit the Business, which would be a further Prejudice 

4 8 

to the Creditors. If you should conclude to stay I would write 
a letter to your Father, which he might show to them, ex- 
pressing that your Stay was by my Counsel, with the Reasons, 
and that as soon as the Congress should meet I would sup- 
port your Application for immediate Payment with my 
strongest Interest. This Delay of two or three Months, I 
should think, cannot make much Difference hi your Father's 
Affairs, the present Disorders of that Country being con- 
sidered : Or if you apprehend, as you have mentioned, that 
the Creditors may suspect your having an Intention of 
assuming to your own Use the Property of your Father, 
you may, to prevent such Suspicions, offer the Creditors 
to deliver up to them or to any Person they shall please 
to appoint, all the Papers ascertaining your [imperfect] 

1775. TO ROBERT MORRIS (L. c.) 

Philada., Nov. 2, 1789 

DEAR SIR : I should be glad if it might suit you to spare 
half an Hour some Day this Week, to settle between us the 
Loss that accrued on the Sale of my Funds in France, for 
the Payment of the Bills I furnished you with. The sooner 
the better, as I find myself growing weaker daily, and less fit 
for Business. 

I am your affectionate Friend and humble Servant, 


P. S. I enclose the two last Letters received from Messrs. 
Grand & Co., together with their Account, from which you 
may, at your Leisure, make the Computation. By the 


Letters you will perceive the care that was taken to choose 
the most favourable Time for the Sale of those Funds. As 
I reckon it, there is 10^ per cent, loss on 16,000 livres of the 
23,000 sold on the 23d of March, and 8 per cent, loss on the 
80,000 sold April the 8th. 

1776. TO JAMES LOGAN (L. c.) 

Philada., Nov. 2, 1789. 

DEAR SIR : Apprehending there is some Danger of my 
slipping through your Fingers if the Business we are engaged 
in is longer delayed, I feel uneasy till the vacant Trusteeships 
are filled up, and the Deed recorded. I wish therefore it 
may be agreable to you that we have a Meeting soon for that 

With great Esteem and Respect, I am, sir, your most 

obedient humble Servant, 



Philadelphia, November 2, 1789. 

I received your kind letter of August 8th. I thank you 
much for your intimations of the virtues of hemlock, but I 
have tried so many things with so little effect, that I am quite 
discouraged, and have no longer any faith in remedies for 
the stone. The palliating system is what I am now fixed in. 
Opium gives me ease when I am attacked by pain, and by the 

1 First printed by Sparks, Vol. X, p. 397. ED. 
VOL. x E 


use of it I still make life at least tolerable. Not being able, 
however, to bear sitting to write, I now make use of the hand 
of one of my grandsons, dictating to him from my bed. 

I wish, indeed, I had tried this method sooner; for so, I 
think, I might by this time have finished my Memoirs, in 
which I have made no progress for these six months past. 
I have now taken the resolution to endeavour com- 
pleting them in this way of dictating to an amanuensis. 
What is already done, I now send you, with an earnest re- 
quest that you and my good friend Dr. Price would be so 
good as to take the trouble of reading it, critically examining 
it, and giving me your candid opinion whether I had best 
publish or suppress it ; and if the first, then .what parts had 
better be expunged or altered. I shall rely upon your opin- 
ions, for I am now grown so old and feeble in mind, as well 
as body, that I cannot place any confidence in my own judg- 
ment. In the mean time, I desire and expect that you will 
not suffer any copy of it, or of any part of it, to be taken for 
any purpose whatever. 

You present me with a pleasing idea of the happiness I 
might have enjoyed in a certain great house, and in the con- 
versation of its excellent owner, and his well chosen guests, 
if I could have spent some more time in England. That is 
now become impossible. My best wishes, however, attend 
him and his amiable son, in whose promising virtues and 
abilities I am persuaded the father will find much satisfaction. 

The revolution in France is truly surprising. I sincerely 
wish it may end in establishing a good constitution for that 
country. The mischiefs and troubles it suffers in the opera- 
tion, however, give me great concern. 

You request advice from me respecting your conduct and 


writings, and desire me to tell you their faults. As to your 
conduct, I know of nothing that looks like a fault, except your 
declining to act in any public station, although you are cer- 
tainly qualified to do much public good in many you must 
have had it in your power to occupy. In respect to your 
writings, your language seems to me to be good and pure, and 
your sentiments generally just ; but your style of composition 
wants perspicuity, and this I think owing principally to a 
neglect of method. What I would therefore recommend to 
you is, that, before you sit down to write on any subject, you 
would spend some days in considering it, putting down at the 
same time, in short hints, every thought which occurs to you 
as proper to make a part of your intended piece. When you 
have thus obtained a collection of the thoughts, examine 
them carefully with this view, to find which of them is proper- 
est to be presented first to the mind of the reader, that he, 
being possessed of that, may the more easily understand it, 
and be better disposed to receive what you intend for the 
second; and thus I would have you put a figure before each 
thought, to mark its future place in your composition. For 
so, every preceding proposition preparing the mind for that 
which is to follow, and the reader often anticipating it, he 
proceeds with ease, and pleasure, and approbation, as seeming 
continually to meet with his own thoughts. In this mode 
you have a better chance for a perfect production ; because, 
the mind attending first to the sentiments alone, next to the 
method alone, each part is likely to be better performed, and 
I think too in less time. 

You see I give my counsel rather bluntly, without attempt- 
ing to soften my manner of finding fault by any apology, 
which would give some people great offence; but in the 


present situation of affairs between us, when I am soliciting 
the advantage of your criticisms on a work of mine, it is per- 
haps my interest that you should be a little offended, in order 
to produce a greater degree of wholesome severity. I think 
with you, that, if my Memoirs are to be published, an edition 
of them should be printed in England for that country, as 
well as here for this, and I shall gladly leave it to your 
friendly management. 

We have now had one session of Congress under our new 
Constitution, which was conducted with, I think, a greater 
degree of temper, prudence, and unanimity, than could well 
have been expected, and our future prospects seem very 
favourable. The harvests of the last summer have been un- 
commonly plentiful and good ; yet the produce bears a high 
price, from the great foreign demand. At the same time, 
immense quantities of foreign goods are crowded upon us, 
so as to overstock the market, and supply us with what we 
want at very low prices. A spirit of industry and frugality 
is also very generally prevailing, which, being the most prom- 
ising sign of future national felicity, gives me infinite satis- 

Remember me most respectfully and affectionately to your 
good mother, sisters, and brother, and also to my dear Dr. 
Price ; and believe me, my dearest friend, yours most sincerely, 


P. S. I have not received the Philosophical Transactions 
for the two or three last years. They are usually laid by for 
me at the Society's house, with my name upon them, and 
remain there till called for. I shall be much obliged to you, 
if you can conveniently take them up and send them to me. 


Your mention of plagiarism puts me in mind of a charge 
of the same kind, which I lately saw in the British Repository, 
concerning the Chapter of Abraham and the Stranger. Per- 
haps this is the attack your letter hints at, in which you 
defended me. The truth is, as I think you observe, that I 
never published that Chapter, and never claimed more credit 
from it, than what related to the style, and the addition of 
the concluding threatening and promise. The publishing 
of it by Lord Kames, without my consent, deprived me of a 
good deal of amusement, which I used to take in reading it 
by heart out of my Bible, and obtaining the remarks of the 
Scripturians upon it, which were sometimes very diverting; 
not but that it is in itself, on account of the importance of 
its moral, well worth being made known to all mankind. 1 
When I wrote that in the form you now have it, I wrote also 
another, 2 the hint of which was also taken from an ancient 
Jewish tradition; but, not having the same success with it 
as the other, I laid it aside, and have not seen it for thirty 
years past, till within these few days a lady of my acquaint- 
ance furnished me with a copy, which she had preserved. 
I think however it is not a bad one, and send it to you enclosed. 

1 See the "Parable against Persecution," Introduction, Vol. I, p. 179. 

8 Probably the " Parable on Brotherly Love." S. 



SYLVANIA 1 (L. c.) 


"Your executive should consist of a single Person." 

On this I would ask, Is he to have no Council? How is 
he to be informed of the State and Circumstances of the 
different Counties, their Wants, their Abilities, their Dis- 
positions, and the Characters of the principal People, respect- 
ing their Integrity, Capacities, and Qualifications for Offices ? 
Does not the present Construction of our Executive provide 
well for these particulars? And, during the Number of 
Years it has existed, have its Errors or Failures in answering 
the End of its Appointment been more or greater than might 
have been expected from a single Person? 

" But an Individual is more easily watched and controlled 
than any greater Number" 

On this I would ask, Who is to watch and controul him? 
and by what Means is he to be controuled ? Will not those 
Means, whatever they are, and in whatever Body vested, 
be subject to the same Inconveniencies of Expence, Delay, 
Obstruction of good Intentions, &c., which are objected to 
the present Executive? 

1 From a trans, corrected in lead pencil by Franklin. The " Queries and 
Remarks " were written in reply to a paper " Hints for the Members of 
Convention" published in the Federal Gazette, November 3, 1789. ED. 



"This should be governed by the following Principles, the 
Independency of the Magistrate, and the Stability of his Ad- 
ministration; neither of which can be secured but by putting 
both beyond the Reach of every annual Gust of Folly and of 

On this it may be asked, ought it not also to be put beyond 
the Reach of every triennial, quinquennial, or septennial 
Gust of Folly and of Faction, and, in short, beyond the Reach 
of Folly and of Faction at any Period whatever? Does not 
this Reasoning aim at establishing a Monarchy at least for 
Life, like that of Poland? or to prevent the Inconveniencies 
such as that Kingdom is subject to in a new Election on every 
Decease does it not point to an hereditary succession? Are 
the Freemen of Pennsylvania convinced, from a View of the 
History of such Governments, that it will be for their Advan- 
tage to submit themselves to a Government of such Construc- 


"A plural Legislature is as necessary to good Government 
as a single Executive. It is not enough that your Legislature 
should be numerous; it should also be divided. Numbers 
alone are not a sufficient Barrier against the Impulses of Pas- 
sion, the Combinations of Interest, the Intrigues of Faction, 
the Haste of Folly, or the Spirit of Encroachment. One 
Division should watch over and controul the other, supply its 
Wants, correct its Blunders, and cross its Designs, should they 
be criminal or erroneous. Wisdom is the specific Quality of 
the Legislature, grows out of the Number of the Body, and is 


made up of the Portions of Sense and Knowledge which each 
Member brings to it." 

On this it may be asked, May not the Wisdom brought 
to the Legislature by each Member be as effectual a Barrier 
against the Impulses of Passion, &c., when the Members 
are united in one Body, as when they are divided? If one 
Part of the Legislature may controul the Operations of the 
other, may not the Impulses of Passion, the Combinations 
of Interest, the Intrigues of Faction, the Haste of Folly, or 
the Spirit of Encroachment in one of those Bodies obstruct 
the good proposed by the other, and frustrate its Advantages 
to the Public ? Have we not experienced in this Colony, when 
a Province under the Government of the Proprietors, the 
Mischiefs of a second Branch existing in the Proprietary 
Family, countenanced and aided by an Aristocratic Council ? 
How many Delays and what great Expences were occasioned 
in carrying on the public Business; and what a Train of 
Mischiefs, even to the preventing of the Defence of the Prov- 
ince during several Years, when distressed by an Indian war, 
by the iniquitous Demand that the Proprietary Property should 
be exempt from Taxation ! The Wisdom of a few Members in 
one single Legislative Body, may it not frequently stifle bad 
Motions in their Infancy, and so prevent their being adopted ? 
whereas, if those wise Men, in case of a double Legislature, 
should happen to be in that Branch wherein the Motion did 
not arise, may it not, after being adopted by the other, 
occasion lengthy Disputes and Contentions between the two 
Bodies, expensive to the Public, obstructing the public Busi- 
ness, and promoting Factions among the People, many Tem- 
pers naturally adhering obstinately to Measures they have 


once publicly adopted? Have we not seen, in one of our 
neighbouring States, a bad Measure, adopted by one Branch 
of the Legislature, for Want of the Assistance of some more 
intelligent Members who had been packed into the other, 
occasion many Debates, conducted with much Asperity, 
which could not be settled but by an expensive general Ap- 
peal to the People ? And have we not seen, hi another neigh- 
bouring State, a similar Difference between the two Branches, 
occasioning long Debates and Contentions, whereby the 
State was prevented for many Months enjoying the Advan- 
tage of having Senators in the Congress of the United States? 
And has our present Legislative in one Assembly committed 
any Errors of Importance, which they have not remedied, 
or may not easily remedy; more easily, probably, than if 
divided into two Branches? And if the Wisdom brought 
by the Members to the Assembly is divided into two Branches, 
may it not be too weak in each to support a good Measure, 
or obstruct a bad one ? The Division of the Legislature into 
two or three Branches in England, was it the Product of Wis- 
dom, or the Effect of Necessity, arising from the preexisting 
Prevalence of an odious Feudal System ? which Government, 
notwithstanding this Division is now become in Fact an 
absolute Monarchy; since the King, by bribing the Repre- 
sentatives with the People's Money, carries, by his Ministers, 
all the Measures that please him; which is equivalent to 
governing without a Parliament, and renders the Machine 
of Government much more complex and expensive, and, 
from its being more complex, more easily put out of Order. 
Has not the famous political Fable of the Snake, with two 
Heads and one Body, some useful Instruction contained in it ? 
She was going to a Brook to drink, and in her Way was to pass 


thro' a Hedge, a Twig of which opposed her direct Course ; 
one Head chose to go on the right side of the Twig, the other 
on the left ; so that time was spent in the Contest, and, before 
the Decision was completed, the poor Snake died with thirst. 

"Hence it is that the two Branches should be elected by Per- 
sons differently qualified; and in short, that, as far as possible, 
they should be made to represent different Interests. Under 
this Reasoning I would establish a Legislature of two Houses. 
The Upper should represent the Property; the Lower the 
Population of the State. The upper should be chosen by 
Freemen possessing in Lands and Houses one thousand 
Pounds; the Lower by all such as had resided four Years in 
the Country, and paid Taxes. The first should be chosen for 
four, the last for two years. They should in Authority be co- 

Several Questions may arise upon this Proposition, ist. 
What is the Proportion of Freemen possessing Lands and 
Houses of one thousand Pounds' value, compared to that of 
Freemen whose Possessions are inferior? Are they as one 
to ten? Are they even as one to twenty? I should doubt 
whether they are as one to fifty. If this minority is to chuse 
a Body expressly to controul that which is to be chosen by the 
great Majority of the Freemen, what have this great Majority 
done to forfeit so great a Portion of their Right in Elections ? 
Why is this Power of Controul, contrary to the spirit of all 
Democracies, to be vested in a Minority, instead of a Majority ? 
Then is it intended, or is it not, that the Rich should have a 
Vote in the Choice of Members for the lower House, while 
those of inferior Property are deprived of the Right of voting 
for Members of the upper House? And why should the 


upper House, chosen by a Minority, have equal Power with 
the lower chosen by a Majority ? Is it supposed that Wisdom 
is the necessary concomitant of Riches, and that one Man 
worth a thousand Pounds must have as much Wisdom as 
Twenty who have each only 999 ; and why is Property to be 
represented at all? Suppose one of our Indian Nations 
should now agree to form a civil Society; each Individual 
would bring into the Stock of the Society little more Property 
than his Gun and his Blanket, for at present he has no other. 
We know, that, when one of them has attempted to keep a few 
Swine, he has not been able to maintain a Property in them, 
his neighbours thinking they have a Right to kill and eat 
them whenever they want Provision, it being one of their 
Maxims that hunting is free for all ; the accumulation there- 
fore of Property in such a Society, and its Security to Individ- 
uals in every Society, must be an Effect of the Protection 
afforded to it by the joint Strength of the Society, in the Exe- 
cution of its Laws. Private Property therefore is a Creature 
of Society, and is subject to the Calls of that Society, when- 
ever its Necessities shall require it, even to its last Farthing ; 
its Contributions therefore to the public Exigencies are not to 
be considered as conferring a Benefit on the Publick, entitling 
the Contributors to the Distinctions of Honour and Power, 
but as the Return of an Obligation previously received, or 
the Payment of a just Debt. The Combinations of Civil 
Society are not like those of a Set of Merchants, who club 
their Property in different Proportions for Building and 
Freighting a Ship, and may therefore have some Right to 
vote in the Disposition of the Voyage in a greater or less 
Degree according to their respective Contributions; but the 
important ends of Civil Society, and the personal Securities 


of Life and Liberty, these remain the same in every Member 
of the society; and the poorest continues to have an equal 
Claim to them with the most opulent, whatever Difference 
Time, Chance, or Industry may occasion in their Circum- 
stances. On these Considerations, I am sorry to see the 
Signs this Paper I have been considering affords, of a Dis- 
position among some of our People to commence an Aris- 
tocracy, by giving the Rich a predominancy in Government, 
a Choice peculiar to themselves in one half the Legislature to 
be proudly called the UPPER House, and the other Branch, 
chosen by the Majority of the People, degraded by the De- 
nomination of the LOWER ; and giving to this upper House a 
Permanency of four Years, and but two to the lower. I hope, 
therefore, that our Representatives in the Convention will 
not hastily go into these Innovations, but take the Advice of 
the Prophet, "Stand in the old ways, view the ancient Paths, 
consider them well, and be not among those that are given to 


Philadelphia, November 4, 1789. 

I received your kind letter of July the 3ist, which gave me 
great pleasure, as it informed me of the welfare both of your- 
self and your good lady, to whom please to present my respects. 
I thank you for the epistle of your yearly meeting, and for the 
card, a specimen of printing, which was enclosed. 

We have now had one session of Congress, which was con- 
ducted under our new Constitution, and with as much general 
satisfaction as could reasonably be expected. I wish the 
struggle in France may end as happily for that nation. We 

1789] TO JOHN WRIGHT 61 

are now in the full enjoyment of our new government for 
eleven of the States, and it is generally thought that North 
Carolina is about to join it. Rhode Island will probably 
take longer time for consideration. 

We have had a most plentiful year for the fruits of the earth, 
and our people seem to be recovering fast from the extrava- 
gance and idle habits, which the war had introduced; and 
to engage seriously in the country habits of temperance, fru- 
gality, and industry, which give the most pleasing prospect 
of future national felicity. Your merchants, however, are, 
I think, imprudent in crowding in upon us such quantities of 
goods for sale here, which are not written for by ours, and are 
beyond the faculties of this country to consume in any reason- 
able time. This surplus of goods is, therefore, to raise present 
money, sent to the vendues, or auction-houses, of which we 
have six or seven in and near this city ; where they are sold 
frequently for less than prime cost, to the great loss of the 
indiscreet adventurers. Our newspapers are doubtless to be 
seen at your coffee-houses near the Exchange. In their 
advertisements you may observe the constancy and quantity 
of this kind of sales; as well as the quantity of goods im- 
ported by our regular traders. I see in your English news- 
papers frequent mention of our being out of credit with you ; 
to us it appears, that we have abundantly too much, and that 
your exporting merchants are rather out of their senses. 

I wish success to your endeavours for obtaining an aboli- 
tion of the Slave Trade. The epistle from your Yearly 
Meeting, for the year 1758, was not the first sowing of .the 
good seed you mention ; for I find by an old pamphlet in my 
possession, that George Keith, near a hundred years since, 
wrote a paper against the practice, said to be "given forth by 


the appointment of the meeting held by him, at Philip 
James's house, in the city of Philadelphia, about the year 
1693;" wherein a strict charge was given to Friends, "that 
they should set their negroes at liberty, after some reasonable 
time of service, &c. &c." And about the year 1728, or 1729, 
I myself printed a book for Ralph Sandyford, another of 
your Friends in this city, against keeping negroes in slavery ; 
two editions of which he distributed gratis. And about the 
year 1736, I printed another book on the same subject for 
Benjamin Lay, who also professed being one of your Friends, 
and he distributed the books chiefly among them. By these 
instances it appears, that the seed was indeed sown in the 
good ground of your profession, though much earlier than 
the time you mention, and its springing up to effect at last, 
though so late, is some confirmation of Lord Bacon's obser- 
vation, that a good motion never dies; and it may encourage 
us in making such, though hopeless of their taking immediate 

I doubt whether I shall be able to finish my Memoirs, and, 
if I finish them, whether they will be proper for publication. 
You seem to have too high an opinion of them, and to expect 
too much from them. 

I think you are right in preferring a mixed form of govern- 
ment for your country, under its present circumstances ; and 
if it were possible for you to reduce the enormous salaries and 
emoluments of great officers, which are at bottom the source 
of all your violent factions, that form might be conducted more 
quietly and happily ; but I am afraid, that none of your fac- 
tions, when they get uppermost, will ever have virtue enough 
to reduce those salaries and emoluments, but will rather choose 
to enjoy them. 

1789] 710 SAMUEL MOORE 63 

I enclose a bill for twenty-five pounds, for which, when 
received, please to credit my account, and out of it pay Mr. 
Benjamin Vaughan, of Jeffries Square, and Mr. William 
Vaughan, his brother, of Mincing Lane, such accounts against 
me as they shall present to you for that purpose. I am, my 
dear friend, yours very affectionately, 



Philadelphia, Novembers, 1789. 


I received your favour of July 25th, but had no opportunity 
of showing any civility to the bearer, whom you mention as 
coming under the auspices of William Franklin, as he did not 
show himself to me. 

I am obliged by your kind inquiries after my health, which 
is still tolerably good, the stone excepted; my constitution 
being such, as, if it were not for that malady, might have held 
out yet some years longer. 

I hope the fire of liberty, which you mention as spreading 
itself over Europe, will act upon the inestimable rights of 
man, as common fire does upon gold; purify without de- 
stroying them ; so that a lover of liberty may find a country 
in any part of Christendom. 

I see with pleasure in the public prints, that our Society 2 
is still kept up and flourishes. I was an early member ; for, 
when Mr. Shipley sent me a list of the subscribers, they were 

1 Secretary of the London Society for promoting Arts, Manufactures, and 
Commerce. Printed from Sparks, Vol. X, p. 406. ED. 

2 The London Society for promoting Arts, Manufactures, and Commerce. 


but seventy ; and, though I had no expectation then of going 
to England, and acting with them, I sent a contribution of 
twenty guineas; in consideration of which the Society were 
afterwards pleased to consider me a member. 

I wish to the exertions of your manufacturers, who are gen- 
erally excellent, and to the spirit and enterprise of your mer- 
chants, who are famed for fair and honourable dealing, all the 
success they merit in promoting the prosperity of your coun- 

I am glad our friend Small enjoys so much health, and his 
faculties so perfectly, as I perceive he does by his letters. 
I know not whether he is yet returned from his visit to Scot- 
land, and therefore give you the trouble of the enclosed. My 
best wishes attend you, being ever, dear Sir, your most obe- 
dient servant, 



Philadelphia, November 5, 1789. 


I received your several favours of April 23d, May gth, and 
June sd, together with the manuscript concerning Ventila- 
tion, which will be inserted in our next volume. 

I have long been of your opinion, that your legal provision 
for the poor is a very great evil, operating as it does to the 
encouragement of idleness. We have followed your example, 
and begin now to see our error, and, I hope, shall reform it. 
I find by your letters, that every man has patience enough 
to bear calmly and coolly the injuries done to other people. 

1 From "The Private Correspondence of Benjamin Franklin" (1818), 
Vol. I, p. 256. ED. 


You have perfectly forgiven the royalists, and you seem to 
wonder, that we should still retain any resentment against 
them for their joining with the savages to burn our houses, 
and murder and scalp our friends, our wives, and our chil- 
dren. I forget who it was that said, "We are commanded to 
forgive our enemies, but we are nowhere commanded to for- 
give our friends." Certain it is, however, that atrocious in- 
juries done to us by our friends are naturally more deeply 
resented than the same done by enemies. They have left 
us, to live under the government of their King in England 
and Nova Scotia. We do not miss them, nor wish their 
return ; nor do we envy them their present happiness. 

The accounts you give me of the great prospects you have 
respecting your manufactures, agriculture, and commerce, 
are pleasing to me ; for I still love England and wish it pros- 
perity. You tell me, that the government of France is abun- 
dantly punished for its treachery to England in assisting us. 
You might also have remarked, that the government of 
England had been punished for its treachery to France in 
assisting the Corsicans, and in seizing her ships in time of full 
peace, without any previous declaration of war. I believe 
governments are pretty near equal in honesty, and cannot 
with much propriety praise their own in preference to that of 
their neighbours. 

You do me too much honour in naming me with Timoleon. 
I am like him only in retiring from my public labours ; which 
indeed my stone, and other infirmities of age, have made 
indispensably necessary. 

I hope you are by this time returned from your visit to your 
native country, and that the journey has given a firmer con- 
sistence to your health. Mr. Perm's property in this country, 



which you inquire about, is still immensely great; and I 
understand he has received ample compensation in England 
for the part he lost. 

I think you have made a happy choice of rural amusements ; 
the protection of the bees, and the destruction of the hop 
insect. I wish success to your experiments, and shall be 
glad to hear the result. Your Theory of Insects appears 
the most ingenious and plausible of any, that have hitherto 
been proposed by philosophers. 

Our new Constitution is now established with eleven States, 
and the accession of a twelfth is soon expected. We have 
had one session of Congress under it, which was conducted 
with remarkable prudence, and a good deal of unanimity. 
Our late harvests were plentiful, and our produce still fetches 
a good price, through an abundant foreign demand and the 
flourishing state of our commerce. I am ever, my dear friend, 

yours most affectionately, 




IT is with peculiar satisfaction we assure the friends of 
humanity, that, in prosecuting the design of our association, 
our endeavours have proved successful, far beyond our most 
sanguine expectations. 

Encouraged by this success, and by the daily progress of 
that luminous and benign spirit of liberty, which is diffusing 


itself throughout the world, and humbly hoping for the con- 
tinuance of the divine blessing on our labours, we have ven- 
tured to make an important addition to our original plan, and 
do therefore earnestly solicit the support and assistance of 
all who can feel the tender emotions of sympathy and com- 
passion, or relish the exalted pleasure of beneficence. 

Slavery is such an atrocious debasement of human nature, 
that its very extirpation, if not performed with solicitous care, 
may sometimes open a source of serious evils. 

The unhappy man, who has long been treated as a brute 
animal, too frequently sinks beneath the common standard of 
the human species. The galling chains, that bind his body, 
do also fetter his intellectual faculties, and impair the social 
affections of his heart. Accustomed to move like a mere 
machine, by the will of a master, reflection is suspended; 
he has not the power of choice ; and reason and conscience 
have but little influence over his conduct, because he is 
chiefly governed by the passion of fear. He is poor and 
friendless; perhaps worn out by extreme labour, age, and 

Under such circumstances, freedom may often prove a 
misfortune to himself, and prejudicial to society. 

Attention to emancipated black people, it is therefore to be 
hoped, will become a branch of our national policy ; but, as 
far as we contribute to promote this emancipation, so far that 
attention is evidently a serious duty incumbent on us, and 
which we mean to discharge to the best of our judgment and 

To instruct, to advise, to qualify those, who have been re- 
stored to freedom, for the exercise and enjoyment of civil 
liberty, to promote in them habits of industry, to furnish 


them with employments suited to their age, sex, talents, and 
other circumstances, and to procure their children an edu- 
cation calculated for their future situation in life ; these are 
the great outlines of the annexed plan, which we have adopted, 
and which we conceive will essentially promote the public 
good, and the happiness of these our hitherto too much 
neglected fellow-creatures. 

A plan so extensive cannot be carried into execution without 
considerable pecuniary resources, beyond the present ordi- 
nary funds of the Society. We hope much from the generosity 
of enlightened and benevolent freemen, and will gratefully 
receive any donations or subscriptions for this purpose, which 
may be made to our treasurer, James Starr, or to James Pem- 
berton, chairman of our committee of correspondence. 
Signed, by order of the Society, 

B. FRANKLIN, President. 

Philadelphia, 9th of 
November, 1789. 


Philadelphia, November 13, 1789 

IT is now more than a year, since I have heard from my 
dear friend Le Roy. What can be the reason? Are you 
still living ? Or have the mob of Paris mistaken the head of a 
monopolizer of knowledge, for a monopolizer of corn, and 
paraded it about the streets upon a pole. 

Great part of the news we have had from Paris, for near a 
year past, has been very afflicting. I sincerely wish and pray 

1 From "The Private Correspondence of Benjamin Franklin" (1818), 
Vol. I, p. 258. ED. 

1789] TO M. LE VEILLARD 69 

it may all end well and happy, both for the King and the nation. 
The voice of Philosophy I apprehend can hardly be heard 
among those tumults. If any thing material in that way had 
occurred, I am persuaded you would have acquainted me 
with it. However, pray let me hear from you a little of tener ; 
for, though the distance is great, and the means of conveying 
letters not very regular, a year's silence between friends must 
needs give uneasiness. 

Our new Constitution is now established, and has an ap- 
pearance that promises permanency ; but in this world noth- 
ing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes. 

My health continues much as it has been for some time, 
except that I grow thinner and weaker, so that I cannot 
expect to hold out much longer. 

My respects to your good brother, and to our friends of the 
Academy, which always has my best wishes for its prosperity 
and glory. Adieu, my dear friend, and believe me ever yours 

most affectionately, 


1784. TO M. LE VEILLARD (L. c.) 

Philada., Nov. 13, 1789 


DEAR FRIEND : This must be but a short Letter, for I have 
mislaid your last and must postpone answering them till I 
have found them ; but to make you some Amends I send you 
what is done of the Memoirs, under this express Condition 
however, that you do not suffer any Copy to be taken of them, 
or of any Part of them, on any Account whatever, and that 
you will, with your excellent Friend the Duke de la Roche- 
foucault, read them over carefully, examine them critically, 


and send me your friendly, candid Opinion of the Parts you 
would advise me to correct or expunge; this in Case you 
should be of Opinion that they are generally proper to be 
published ; and if you judge otherwise, that you would send 
me that Opinion as soon as possible, and prevent my taking 
farther Trouble in endeavouring to finish them. I send you 
also the Paper you desire respecting our Payment of old 
English Debts. 

The Troubles you have had in Paris have afflicted me a 
great deal. I hope by this Time they are over, and every- 
thing settled as it should be, to the Advantage both of the 
King and Nation. 

My love to good Mme. Le Veillard and your Children, in 
which Sec'y Benjamin joins; and believe me as ever, your 

affectionate Friend, 



Philadelphia, Nov. 14, 1789. 

MY GOOD AND DEAR OLD FRIEND : Your very valuable 
Son came to this Town lately with the full Intention of taking 
his Passage for France in Obedience to the Commands of his 
much respected Father and Mother, and supposing that his 
Presence there would be useful to the Affairs of the Family. 
But on his communicating his Purpose to me and acquaint- 
ing me at the same Tune with the present Situation of his 
Demand upon Congress, where your Accounts against them 
have been examined and approved, and the Payment only 
delayed 'till by the Operation of our New Constitution the 
Congress shall be furnished with Money to discharge them, 


I could not help thinking it would be more adviseable for him 
to postpone his Voyage two or three Months when he might 
hope to see his Business here completed to his and your Satis- 
faction, than to leave it in its present State, which might 
occasion a much longer Delay ; for the Impost Law, passed 
at the last Session of Congress, being now in full Force thro' 
all the States of the Union [imperfect] Importation of Goods 
on which [imperfect] Duties are paid having lately been im- 
mensely great, the flow of Money into the Treasury must be 
proportionable, so that when they meet again, which will 
be early in January next, they will find themselves in Posses- 
sion of a very considerable Sum; and as their Debt to you 
was one of the earliest they contracted, I suppose it will of 
Course be one of the first they will think of discharging ; and 
I have promised him to use my best Interest and Endeavours 
with them for that Purpose. He has accordingly thought fit to 
take my Advice, and I hope it will be approved by you and his 
good Mother, and that this short Delay will not occasion any 
great Inconvenience; whereas if he should be absent when 
the first Payments are made, his Affair might be postponed 
for another Year. We hope indeed that when he does visit 
you, you will not think of detaining and fixing him in France ; 
for we are not willing to part with him ; his Behaviour having 
been such, during his Residence among us, as to obtain for 
hmi the Good-Will, Respect and Esteem of all who have had 
the Pleasure of knowing him. 

Pray make my Respects acceptable to good Madame [im- 



1786. TO DAVID HARTLEY (L. c.) 

Philad% Dec r 4, 1789. 

I received your Favor of August last. Your kind Con- 
dolences on the painful State of my Health are very obliging. 
I am thankful to God, however, that, among the numerous 
Ills human Life is subject to, one only of any Importance is 
fallen to my Lot ; and that so late as almost to insure that it 
can be but of short Duration. 

The Convulsions in France are attended with some dis- 
agreable Circumstances; but if by the Struggle she obtains 
and secures for the Nation its future Liberty, and a good 
Constitution, a few Years' Enjoyment of those Blessings will 
amply repair all the Damages their Acquisition may have 
occasioned. God grant, that not only the Love of Liberty, 
but a thorough Knowledge of the Rights of Man, may per- 
vade all the Nations of the Earth, so that a Philosopher may 
set his Foot anywhere on its Surface, and say, "This is my 

Your Wishes for a cordial and perpetual Friendship be- 
tween Britain and her ancient Colonies are manifested con- 
tinually in every one of your Letters to me; something of 
my Disposition on the same Subject may appear to you in 
casting your Eye over the enclosed Paper. I do not by this 
Opportunity send you any of our Gazettes, because the 
Postage from Liverpool would be more than they are worth. 
I can now only add my best Wishes of every kind of Felicity 
for the three amiable Hartleys, to whom I have the honor of 
being an affectionate friend and most obedient humble ser- 
vant, [B. FRANKLIN.] 

1789] TO MRS. JANE MECOM 73 


Philadelphia, December 17, 1789. 


You tell me you are desired by an acquaintance to ask my 
opinion, whether the general circumstances mentioned in the 
history of Baron Trenck are founded in fact ; to which I can 
only answer, that, of the greatest part of those circumstances, 
the scene being kid in Germany, I must consequently be very 
ignorant; but of what he says as having passed in France, 
between the ministers of that country, himself, and me, I can 
speak positively, that it is founded in falsehood, and that the 
fact can only serve to confound, as I never saw him in that 
country, nor ever knew or heard of him anywhere, till I met 
with the abovementioned history in print, in the German 
language, in which he ventured to relate it as a fact, that I 
had, with those ministers, solicited him to enter into the 
American service. A translation of that book into French 
has since been printed, but the translator has omitted that 
pretended fact, probably from an apprehension, that its being 
in that country known not to be true might hurt the credit 
and sale of the translation.. 

I thank you for the sermon on Sacred Music. I have read 
it with pleasure. I think it a very ingenious composition. 
You will say this is natural enough, if you read what I have 
formerly written on the same subject in one of my printed 
letters, wherein you will find a perfect agreement of sentiment 
respecting the complex music, of late, in my opinion, too much 
in vogue ; it being only pleasing to learned ears, which can be 

1 From "The Private Correspondence of Benjamin Franklin" (1818), 
Vol. I, p. 260. ED. 


delighted with the difficulty of execution, instead of har- 
mony and melody. Your affectionate brother, 


1788. TO (L. c.) 

Philada., Dec* 19, 1789. 

DEAR FRIEND : I have received your kind Letter of the 
5th Inst., together with your Present of Metheglin, of which 
I have already drank almost a Bottle. I find it excellent; 
please to accept my thankful Acknowledgments. 

The Letter of yours enclosed is from the Widow of a Jew, 
who, happening to be one of a Number of Passengers, that 
were about 40 Years ago in a Stage-Boat going to New York, 
and which, by the unskillful management of the Boatman, 
overset the Canoe from whence I was endeavouring to get 
on board her, near Staten Island, has ever since worried me 
with Demands of a Gratis for having, as he pretended, been 
instrumental in saving my Life ; tho' that was in no Danger, 
as we were near the Shore, and you know what an expert 
Swimmer I am, and he was no more of any Service to me in 
stopping the Boat to take me in than every other Passenger ; 
to all whom I gave a liberal Entertainment at the Tavern 
when we arrived at New York, to their general satisfaction, 
at the Time; but this Hayes never saw me afterwards, at 
New York, or Brunswick, or Philada. that he did not dun 
me for Money on the Pretence of his being poor, and having 
been so happy as to be Instrumental in saving my Life, 
which was really in no Danger. In this way he got of me 
sometimes a double Joannes, sometimes a Spanish Doubloon, 
and never less ; how much in the whole I do not know, having 


kept no Account of it ; but it must have been a very consider- 
able Sum ; and he never incurr'd any Risque, nor was at any 
Trouble in my Behalf, I have long since thought him well 
paid for any little Expence of Humanity he might have felt 
on the Occasion. He seems, however, to have left me to his 
Widow as part of her Dowry. 

1789. TO MILES MERWIN (A. p. s.) 

Dec. 21. '89. 

A PAINFUL illness has hitherto prevented Dr. Franklin's 
answering Mr. Merwin's obliging letter. He is extreamly 
sensible of the Honour proposed to be done him by the 
Dedication, and requests Mr. Merwin to accept his Thanks ; 
but cannot give his Consent to the publishing such e 

C- A. L L, Ilo 1 \ L- 

Encomiums on his own Conduct, and hopes M* Merwin 
will excuse the Refusal. 


Philad*, Dec r 26, 1789. 


I received some Time since your Dissertations on the Eng- 
lish Language. The Book was not accompanied by any 
Letter or Message, informing me to whom I am obliged for 
it, but I suppose it is to yourself. It is an excellent Work, 
and will be greatly useful in turning the Thoughts of our 
Countrymen to correct Writing. Please to accept my Thanks 
for it as well as for the great honour you have done me in 


its Dedication. I ought to have made this Acknowledgment 
sooner, but much Indisposition prevented me. 

I cannot but applaud your Zeal for preserving the 
Purity of our Language, both in its Expressions and Pronun- 
ciation, and in correcting the popular Errors several of our 
States are continually falling into with respect to both. 
Give me leave to mention some of them, though possibly 
they may have already occurred to you. I wish, however, in 
some future Publication of yours, you would set a discoun- 
tenancing Mark upon them. The first I remember is the 
word improved. When I left New England, in the year 23, 
this Word had never been used among us, as far as I know, 
but in the sense of ameliorated or made better, except once in 
a very old Book of Dr. Mather's, entitled Remarkable Provi- 
dences. As that eminent Man wrote a very obscure Hand, 
I remember that when I read that Word in his Book, used 
instead of the Word imployed, I conjectured that it was an 
Error of the Printer, who had mistaken a too short / in the 
Writing for an r, and a y with too short a Tail for a v ; whereby 
imployed was converted into improved. 

But when I returned to Boston, in 1733, I found this 
Change had obtained Favour, and was then become common ; 
for I met with it often in perusing the Newspapers, where it 
frequently made an Appearance rather ridiculous. Such, 
for Instance, as the Advertisement of a Country-House to 
be sold, which had been many years improved as a Tavern; 
and, in the Character of a deceased Country Gentleman, 
that he had been for more than 30 Years improved as a 
Justice-of-Peace. This Use of the Word improved is peculiar 
to New England, and not to be met with among any other 
Speakers of English, either on this or the other Side of the 


During my late Absence in France, I find that several other 
new Words have been introduced into our parliamentary 
Language; for Example, I find a Verb formed from the 
Substantive Notice; I should not have NOTICED this, were it 
not that the Gentleman, &c. Also another Verb from the 
Substantive Advocate; The Gentleman who ADVOCATES or 
has ADVOCATED that Motion, &c. Another from the Sub- 
stantive Progress, the most awkward and abominable of the 
three; The committee, having PROGRESSED, resolved to ad- 
journ. The Word opposed, tho' not a new Word, I find used 
in a new Manner, as, The Gentlemen who are OPPOSED to this 
Measure; to which I have also myself always been OPPOSED. 
If you should happen to be of my Opinion with respect to 
these Innovations, you will use your Authority hi reprobating 

The Latin Language, long the Vehicle used in distributing 
Knowledge among the different Nations of Europe, is daily 
more and more neglected ; and one of the modern Tongues, 
viz. the French, seems in point of Universality to have sup- 
plied its place. It is spoken in all the Courts of Europe; 
and most of the Literati, those even who do not speak it, 
have acquired Knowledge enough of it to enable them easily 
to read the Books that are written in it. This gives a con- 
siderable Advantage to that Nation; it enables its Authors 
to inculcate and spread through other Nations such Senti- 
ments and Opinions on important Points, as are most con- 
ducive to its Interests, or which may contribute to its Reputa- 
tion by promoting the common Interests of Mankind. It is 
perhaps owing to its being written in French, that Voltaire's 
Treatise on Toleration has had so sudden and so great an 
Effect on the Bigotry of Europe, as almost entirely to disarm 


it. The general Use of the French Language has likewise 
a very advantageous Effect on the Profits of the Bookselling 
Branch of Commerce, it being well known, that the more 
Copies can be sold that are struck off from one Composition 
of Types, the Profits increase in a much greater Proportion 
than they do in making a great Number of Pieces in any other 
Kind of Manufacture. And at present there is no Capital 
Town in Europe without a French Bookseller's Shop corre- 
sponding with Paris. 

Our English bids fair to obtain the second Place. The 
great Body of excellent printed Sermons in our Language, 
and the Freedom of our Writings on political Subjects, have 
induced a Number of Divines of different Sects and Nations, 
as well as Gentlemen concerned in public Affairs, to study it ; 
so far at least as to read it. And if we were to endeavour 
the Facilitating its Progress, the Study of our Tongue might 
become much more general. Those, who have employed 
some Part of their Time in learning a new Language, must 
have frequently observed, that, while their Acquaintance 
with it was imperfect, Difficulties small in themselves operated 
as great ones in obstructing their Progress. A Book, for 
Example, ill printed, or a Pronunciation in speaking, not well 
articulated, would render a Sentence unintelligible; which, 
from a clear Print or a distinct Speaker, would have been 
immediately comprehended. If therefore we would have 
the Benefit of seeing our Language more generally known 
among Mankind, we should endeavour to remove all the 
Difficulties, however small, that discourage the learning it. 

But I am sorry to observe, that, of late Years, those Diffi- 
culties, instead of being diminished, have been augmented. 
In examining the English Books, that were printed between 


the Restoration and the Accession of George the 2 d , we may 
observe, that all Substantives were begun with a capital, 
in which we imitated our Mother Tongue, the German. 
This was more particularly useful to those, who were not well 
acquainted with the English ; there being such a prodigious 
Number of our Words, that are both Verbs and Substantives, 
and spelt in the same manner, tho' often accented differently 
in Pronunciation. 

This Method has, by the Fancy of Printers, of late Years 
been laid aside, from an Idea, that suppressing the Capitals 
shows the Character to greater Advantage; those Letters 
prominent above the line disturbing its even regular Appear- 
ance. The Effect of this Change is so considerable, that a 
learned Man of France, who used to read our Books, tho' 
not perfectly acquainted with our Language, in Conversa- 
tion with me on the Subject of our Authors, attributed the 
greater Obscurity he found in our modern Books, compared 
with those of the Period above mentioned, to a Change of 
Style for the worse in our Writers, of which Mistake I con- 
vinced him, by marking for him each Substantive with a 
Capital in a Paragraph, which he then easily understood, 
tho' before he could not comprehend it. This shows the 
Inconvenience of that pretended Improvement. 

From the same Fondness for an even and uniform Appear- 
ance of Characters in the Line, the Printers have of late ban- 
ished also the Italic Types, in which Words of Importance 
to be attended to in the Sense of the Sentence, and Words 
on which an Emphasis should be put in Reading, used to 
be printed. And lately another Fancy has induced some 
Printers to use the short round 5, instead of the long one, 
which formerly served well to distinguish a word readily by 


its varied appearance. Certainly the omitting this prominent 
Letter makes the Line appear more even; but renders it 
less immediately legible; as the paring all Men's Noses 
might smooth and level their Faces, but would render their 
Physiognomies less distinguishable. 

Add to all these Improvements backwards, another modern 
Fancy, that grey Printing is more beautiful than black; 
hence the English new Books are printed in so dim a Char- 
acter, as to be read with difficulty by old Eyes, unless in a 
very strong Light and with good Glasses. Whoever com- 
pares a Volume of the Gentleman's Magazine, printed between 
the Years 1731 and 1740, with one of those printed in the 
last ten Years, will be convinced of the much greater Degree 
of Perspicuity given by black Ink than by grey. Lord Ches- 
terfield pleasantly remarked this Difference to Faulkener, 
the Printer of the Dublin Journal, who was vainly making 
Encomiums on his own Paper, as the most complete of any 
in the World; "But, Mr. Faulkener," said my Lord, "don't 
you think it might be still farther unproved by using Paper 
and Ink not quite so near of a Colour?" For all these 
Reasons I cannot but wish, that our American Printers 
would in their Editions avoid these fancied Improvements, 
and thereby render their Works more agreable to Foreigners 
in Europe, to the great advantage of our Bookselling Com- 

Farther, to be more sensible of the Advantage of clear 
and distinct Printing, let us consider the Assistance it affords 
in Reading well aloud to an Auditory. In so doing the Eye 
generally slides forward three or four Words before the Voice. 
If the Sight clearly distinguishes what the coming Words 
are, it gives time to order the Modulation of the Voice to 


express them properly. But, if they are obscurely printed, 
or disguis'd by omitting the Capitals and long s's or other- 
wise, the Reader is apt to modulate wrong ; and, finding he 
has done so, he is oblig'd to go back and begin the Sentence 
again, which lessens the Pleasure of the Hearers. 

This leads me to mention an old Error in our Mode of 
Printing. We are sensible, that, when a Question is met 
with in Reading, there is a proper Variation to be used in 
the Management of the Voice. We have therefore a Point 
called an Interrogation, amx'd to the Question in order to 
distinguish it. But this is absurdly placed at its End; so 
that the Reader does not discover it, till he finds he has 
wrongly modulated his Voice, and is therefore obliged to 
begin again the Sentence. To prevent this, the Spanish 
Printers, more sensibly, place an Interrogation at the Begin- 
ning as well as at the End of a Question. We have another 
Error of the same kind in printing Plays, where something 
often occurs that is mark'd as spoken aside. But the Word 
aside is placed at the End of the Speech, when it ought to 
precede it, as a Direction to the Reader, that he may govern 
his Voice accordingly. The Practice of our Ladies in meet- 
ing five or six together to form a little busy Party, where each 
is employ'd in some useful Work while one reads to them, is 
so commendable in itself, that it deserves the Attention of 
Authors and Printers to make it as pleasing as possible, both 
to the Reader and Hearers. 

After these general Observations, permit me to make one 
that I imagine may regard your Interest. It is that your 
Spelling Book is miserably printed here, so as in many Places 
to be scarcely legible, and on wretched Paper. If this is 
not attended to, and the new one lately advertis'd as coming 



out should be preferable in these Respects, it may hurt the 
future Sale of yours. 

I congratulate you on your Marriage, of which the News- 
papers inform me. My best wishes attend you, being with 

sincere esteem, Sir, &c. 


1791. TO (L. c.) 

Philadelphia, Jan. 19, 1790. 


I rec d the Letter you did me the honor of writing to me 
respecting the Construction of the n th Art. of the Treaty of 
Commerce between France and the United States. I was 
indeed one of the Commissioners on the Part of the United 
States for making that treaty, but the Commissioners have 
no right to explain the Treaty. Its explanation is to be 
sought for in its own Words, and, in case it cannot be clearly 
found there, then by an application to the contracting Powers. 

I certainly conceived, that when the Droit d'aubaine was 
relinquished in favor of the Citizens of the United States, 
the relinquishing Clause was meant to extend to all the 
Dominions of his most Christian Majesty; and I am of 
Opinion, that this would not be denied, if an Explanation 
were requested of the Court of France; and it ought to be 
done, if any Difficulties arise on this subject in the French 
Islands, which their Courts do not determine in our Favor. 
But, before Congress is petitioned to make such Request, I 
imagine it would be proper to have the Case tried in some 
of the W. I. islands, and the Petition made in Consequence 
of a Determination against us. I have the honor to be, &c. 


l Written in the hand of W. T. Franklin. ED. 

1790] TO EZRA STILES 83 

1792. TO EZRA STILES (L. c.) 

Philad', March 9. 1790. 


I received your kind Letter of Jan'y 28, and am glad you 
have at length received the portrait of Gov'r Yale from his 
Family, and deposited it in the College Library. He was a 
great and good Man, and had the Merit of doing infinite Ser- 
vice to your Country by his Munificence to that Institution. 
The Honour you propose doing me by placing mine in the 
same Room with his, is much too great for my Deserts; 
but you always had a Partiality for me, and to that it must 
be ascribed. I am however too much obliged to Yale Col- 
lege, the first learned Society that took Notice of me and 
adorned me with its Honours, to refuse a Request that comes 
from it thro' so esteemed a Friend. But I do not think any 
one of the Portraits you mention, as in my Possession, worthy 
of the Place and Company you propose to place it in. You 
have an excellent Artist lately arrived. If he will undertake 
to make one for you, I shall cheerfully pay the Expence; 
but he must not delay setting about it, or I may slip thro' his 
fingers, for I am now in my eighty-fifth year, and very infirm. 

I send with this a very learned Work, as it seems to me, 
on the antient Samaritan Coins, lately printed in Spain, and 
at least curious for the Beauty of the Impression. Please 
to accept it for your College Library. I have subscribed 
for the Encyclopaedia now printing here, with the Intention 
of presenting it to the College. I shall probably depart 
before the Work is finished, but shall leave Directions for its 
Continuance to the End. With this you will receive some 
of the first numbers. 


You desire to know something of my Religion. It is the 
first time I have been questioned upon it. But I cannot 
take your Curiosity amiss, and shall endeavour in a few 
Words to gratify it. Here is my Creed. I believe in one 
God, Creator of the Universe. That he governs it by his 
Providence. That he ought to be worshipped. That the 
most acceptable Service we render to him is doing good to 
his other Children. That the soul of Man is immortal, and 
will be treated with Justice in another Life respecting its 
Conduct in this. These I take to be the fundamental Prin- 
ciples of all sound Religion, and I regard them as you do in 
whatever Sect I meet with them. 

As to Jesus of Nazareth, my Opinion of whom you par- 
ticularly desire, I think the System of Morals and his Reli- 
gion, as he left them to us, the best the World ever saw or 
is likely to see ; but I apprehend it has received various cor- 
rupting Changes, and I have, with most of the present Dis- 
senters in England, some Doubts as to his Divinity; tho' 
it is a question I do not dogmatize upon, having never studied 
it, and think it needless to busy myself with it now, when I 
expect soon an Opportunity of knowing the Truth with less 
Trouble. I see no harm, however, in its being believed, 
if that Belief has the good Consequence, as probably it has, 
of making his Doctrines more respected and better observed ; 
especially as I do not perceive, that the Supreme takes it 
amiss, by distinguishing the Unbelievers in his Government 
of the World with any peculiar Marks of his Displeasure. 

I shall only add, respecting myself, that, having experi- 
enced the Goodness of that Being in conducting me pros- 
perously thro' a long life, I have no doubt of its Continuance 
in the next, though without the smallest Conceit of meriting 


such Goodness. My Sentiments on this Head you will see 
in the Copy of an old Letter enclosed, 1 which I wrote in answer 
to one from a zealous Religionist, whom I had relieved in a 
paralytic case by electricity, and who, being afraid I should 
grow proud upon it, sent me his serious though rather im- 
pertinent Caution. I send you also the Copy of another 
Letter, 2 which will shew something of my Disposition relat- 
ing to Religion. With great and sincere Esteem and Affection, 
I am, Your obliged old Friend and most obedient humble 
Servant B. FRANKLIN. 

P. S. Had not your College some Present of Books from 
the King of France ? Please to let me know, if you had an 
Expectation given you of more, and the Nature of that 
Expectation? I have a Reason for the Enquiry. 

I confide, that you will not expose me to Criticism and 
censure by publishing any part of this Communication to 
you. I have ever let others enjoy their religious Sentiments, 
without reflecting on them for those that appeared to me un- 
supportable and even absurd. All Sects here, and we have 
a great Variety, have experienced my good will in assisting 
them with Subscriptions for building their new Places of 
Worship; and, as I have never opposed any of their Doc- 
trines, I hope to go out of the World in Peace with them all. 3 

1 Probably the letter written to Joseph Huey. ED. 

2 It is uncertain what letter is here alluded to, but probably the one sup- 
posed to have been written to Thomas Paine. S. 

8 This letter was written in reply to the following query in a letter from 
Ezra Stiles (January 28, 1790) : 

" You know, Sir, that I am a Christian, and would to Heaven all others 
were such as I am, except my Imperfections and Deficiencies of moral 
Character. As much as I know of Dr. Franklin, I have not an idea of his 
religious Sentiments. I wish to know the Opinion of my venerable Friend 


1793. TO FRANCIS CHILDS (p. H. s.) 

Philad* March 10, 1790 


I received your Letter enclosing the Bill of Lading for the 
two Boxes of Types ; but the Vessel is not yet arriv'd. By 
your Proposal which I agreed to, I was to have them at 
what they cost in London, at Caslon's Foundery; and you 
desire me to give you Credit accordingly: But as I never 
before bought any such small Letters, and Caslon has not 
mark'd any Prices in his Specimens, I do not know at what 
Rates I am to credit them, till I receive his Bill or Invoice, 
which I therefore request you will send me by the Return 

of the Post. I am, Sir, 

Your humble Servant 

1794. ON THE SLAVE-TRADE (L. c.) 

Dr. Franklin's name, as President of the Abolition Society, was signed to 
the memorial presented to the House of Representatives of the United States, 
on the 1 2th of February, 1789, praying them to exert the full extent of power 
vested in them by the Constitution, in discouraging the traffic of the human 
species. This was his last public act. In the debates to which this memorial 

concerning Jesus of Nazereth. He will not impute this to Impertinence or 
improper Curiosity, in one, who for so many years has continued to love, 
estimate, and reverence his Abilities and literary Character, with an Ardor 
and Affection bordering on Adoration. If I have said too much, let the 
Request be blotted out, and be no more; and yet I shall never cease to wish 
you that happy Immortality, which I believe Jesus alone has purchased for the 
virtuous and truly good of every religious Denomination in Christendom, and 
for those of every Age, Nation, and Mythology, who reverence the Deity, and 
are filled with Integrity, Righteousness, and Benevolence. Wishing you every 
Blessing, I am, dear Sir, your most obed' Serv 1 . 



gave rise, several attempts were made to justify the trade. In the Federal 
Gazette of March 25th, 1790, there appeared an essay, signed HISTORICUS, 
written by Dr. Franklin, in which he communicated a Speech, said to have 
been delivered in the Divan of Algiers, in 1687, in opposition to the prayer 
of the petition of a sect called Erika, or Purists, for the abolition of piracy 
and slavery. This pretended African speech was an excellent parody of one 
delivered by Mr. Jackson, of Georgia. All the arguments, urged in favour of 
negro slavery, are applied with equal force to justify the plundering and en- 
slaving of Europeans. It affords, at the same time, a demonstration of the 
futility of the arguments in defence of the slave-trade, and of the strength of 
mind and ingenuity of the author, at his advanced period of life. It furnishes, 
too, a no less convincing proof of his power of imitating the style of other 
times and nations, than his celebrated Parable against Persecution. And as 
the latter led many persons to search the Scriptures with a view to find it, so 
the former caused many persons to search the book-stores and libraries for the 
work from which it was said to be extracted. DR. STUBER. 


March 23d, I79O. 1 


Reading last night in your excellent Paper the speech of 
Mr. Jackson in Congress against their meddling with the 
Affair of Slavery, or attempting to mend the Condition of 
the Slaves, it put me in mind of a similar One made about 
100 Years since by Sidi Mehemet Ibrahim, a member of the 
Divan of Algiers, which may be seen in Martin's Account of 
his Consulship, anno 1687. It was against granting the 
Petition of the Sect called Erika, or Purists, who pray'd for 
the Abolition of Piracy and Slavery as being unjust. Mr. 
Jackson does not quote it ; perhaps he has not seen it. If, 
therefore, some of its Reasonings are to be found in his elo- 
quent Speech, it may only show that men's Interests and 
Intellects operate and are operated on with surprising simi- 

1 This paper is dated only twenty-four days before the author's death, 
which happened on the I7th of April following. ED. 


larity in all Countries and Climates, when under similar Cir- 
cumstances. The African's Speech, as translated, is as follows. 

"Allah Bismillah, &C. God is great, and Mahomet is his 


"Have these Erika considered the Consequences of grant- 
ing their Petition? If we cease our Cruises against the 
Christians, how shall we be furnished with the Commodities 
their Countries produce, and which are so necessary for us ? 
If we forbear to make Slaves of their People, who in this hot 
Climate are to cultivate our Lands ? Who are to perform the 
common Labours of our City, and in our Families? Must 
we not then be our own Slaves ? And is there not more Com- 
passion and more Favour due to us as Mussulmen, than to 
these Christian Dogs? We have now above 50,000 Slaves 
in and near Algiers. This Number, if not kept up by fresh 
Supplies, will soon diminish, and be gradually annihilated. 
If we then cease taking and plundering the Infidel Ships, and 
making Slaves of the Seamen and Passengers, our Lands 
will become of no Value for want of Cultivation ; the Rents 
of Houses in the City will sink one half ; and the Revenues 
of Government arising from its Share of Prizes be totally 
destroy'd ! And for what ? To gratify the whims of a whim- 
sical Sect, who would have us, not only forbear making more 
Slaves, but even to manumit those we have. 

"But who is to indemnify their Masters for the Loss? 
Will the State do it? Is our Treasury sufficient? Will the 
Erika do it? Can they do it? Or would they, to do what 
they think Justice to the Slaves, do a greater Injustice to the 
Owners ? And if we set our Slaves free, what is to be done 
with them? Few of them will return to their Countries; 


they know too well the greater Hardships they must there be 
subject to; they will not embrace our holy Religion; they 
will not adopt our Manners; our People will not pollute 
themselves by intermarrying with them. Must we maintain 
them as Beggars in our Streets, or suffer our Properties to 
be the Prey of their Pillage? For Men long accustom'd to 
Slavery will not work for a Livelihood when not compell'd. 
And what is there so pitiable in their present Condition? 
Were they not Slaves in their own Countries ? 

"Are not Spain, Portugal, France, and the Italian states 
govern'd by Despots, who hold all their Subjects in Slavery, 
without Exception ? Even England treats its Sailors as Slaves ; 
for they are, whenever the Government pleases, seiz'd, and 
confin'd in Ships of War, condemn'd not only to work, but 
to fight, for small Wages, or a mere Subsistence, not better 
than our Slaves are allow'd by us. Is their Condition then 
made worse by their f ailing into our Hands ? No ; they have 
only exchanged one Slavery for another, and I may say a 
better ; for here they are brought into a Land where the Sun 
of Islamism gives forth its Light, and shines in full Splendor, 
and they have an Opportunity of making themselves ac- 
quainted with the true Doctrine, and thereby saving their 
immortal Souls. Those who remain at home have not that 
Happiness. Sending the Slaves home then would be sending 
them out of Light into Darkness. 

"I repeat the Question, What is to be done with them? 
I have heard it suggested, that they may be planted in the 
Wilderness, where there is plenty of Land for them to sub- 
sist on, and where they may flourish as a free State ; but they 
are, I doubt, too little dispos'd to labour without Compulsion, 
as well as too ignorant to establish a good government, and 


the wild Arabs would soon molest and destroy or again en- 
slave them. While serving us, we take care to provide them 
with every thing, and they are treated with Humanity. The 
Labourers in their own Country are, as I am well informed, 
worse fed, lodged, and cloathed. The Condition of most of 
them is therefore already mended, and requires no further 
Improvement. Here their Lives are in Safety. They are 
not liable to be impress'd for Soldiers, and forc'd to cut one 
another's Christian Throats, as in the Wars of their own 
Countries. If some of the religious mad Bigots, who now 
teaze us with their silly Petitions, have in a Fit of blind Zeal 
freed their Slaves, it was not Generosity, it was not Hu- 
manity, that mov'd them to the Action; it was from the 
conscious Burthen of a Load of Sins, and Hope, from the 
supposed Merits of so good a Work, to be excus'd Damna- 

"How grossly are they mistaken in imagining Slavery to 
be disallow'd by the Alcoran ! Are not the two Precepts, 
to quote no more, 'Masters, treat your Slaves with kindness; 
Slaves, serve your Masters with Cheerfulness and Fidelity,' clear 
Proofs to the contrary ? Nor can the Plundering of Infidels 
be hi that sacred Book forbidden, since it is well known 
from it, that God has given the World, and all that it contains, 
to his faithful Mussulmen, who are to enjoy it of Right as 
fast as they conquer it. Let us then hear no more of this 
detestable Proposition, the Manumission of Christian Slaves, 
the Adoption of which would, by depreciating our Lands 
and Houses, and thereby depriving so many good Citizens 
of their Properties, create universal Discontent, and provoke 
Insurrections, to the endangering of Government and pro- 
ducing general Confusion. I have therefore no doubt, but 

1790] TO MRS. JANE MECOM 91 

this wise Council will prefer the Comfort and Happiness 
of a whole Nation of true Believers to the Whim of a few 
Erika, and dismiss their Petition." 

The Result was, as Martin tells us, that the Divan came 
to this Resolution; "The Doctrine, that Plundering and 
Enslaving the Christians is unjust, is at best problematical; 
but that it is the Interest of this State to continue the Prac- 
tice, is clear; therefore let the Petition be rejected." 

And it was rejected accordingly. 

And since like Motives are apt to produce in the Minds of 
Men like Opinions and Resolutions, may we not, Mr. Brown, 
venture to predict, from this Account, that the Petitions to 
the Parliament of England for abolishing the Slave-Trade, 
to say nothing of other Legislatures, and the Debates upon 
them, will have a similar Conclusion? I am, Sir, your con- 
stant Reader and humble Servant, HISTORICUS. 


Philadelphia, March 24, 1790. 


I received your kind letter by your good neighbour, Cap- 
tain Rich. The information it contained, that you continue 
well, gave me, as usual, great pleasure. As to myself, I have 
been quite free from pain for near three weeks past; and 
therefore not being obliged to take any laudanum, my 
appetite has returned, and I have recovered some part of 
my strength. Thus I continue to live on, while all the friends 
of my youth have left me, and gone to join the majority. 

1 First published by Sparks, Vol. X, p. 425. ED. 


I have, however, the pleasure of continued friendship and 
conversation with their children and grandchildren. I do 
not repine at my malady, though a severe one, when I con- 
sider how well I am provided with every convenience to 
palliate it, and to make me comfortable under it; and how 
many more horrible evils the human body is subject to ; and 
what a long life of health I have been blessed with, free from 
them all. 

You have done well not to send me any more fish at present. 
These continue good, and give me pleasure. 

Do you know any thing of our sister Scott's daughter; 
whether she is still living, and where? This family join 
in love to you and yours, and to cousins Williams, with your 

affectionate brother, 


P. S. It is early in the morning, and I write in bed. The 
awkward position has occasioned the crooked lines. 


Philadelphia, April 8, I79O. 1 


I received your letter of the 3ist of last past, relating to 
encroachments made on the eastern limits of the United 
States by settlers under the British government, pretending 
that it is the western, and not the eastern river of the Bay of 
Passamaquoddy which was designated by the name of St. 
Croix, in the treaty of peace with that nation ; and requesting 
of me to communicate any facts which my memory or papers 

1 This letter is dated only nine days before Dr. Franklin's death. ED. 


may enable me to recollect, and which may indicate the true 
river, which the commissioners on both sides had in their 
view, to establish as the boundary between the two nations. 

Your letter found me under a severe fit of my malady, 
which prevented my answering it sooner, or attending, in- 
deed, to any kind of business. I now can assure you, that 
I am perfectly clear in the remembrance that the map we used 
in tracing the boundary, was brought to the treaty by the com- 
missioners from England, and that it was the same that was 
published by Mitchell above twenty years before. Having 
a copy of that map by me in loose sheets, I send you that 
sheet which contains the Bay of Passamaquoddy, where you 
will see that part of the boundary traced. I remember, 
too, that in that part of the boundary we relied much on the 
opinion of Mr. Adams, who had been concerned in some 
former disputes concerning those territories. I think, there- 
fore, that you may obtain still further light from him. 

That the map we used was Mitchell's map, Congress were 
acquainted at the time, by a letter to their Secretary for 
Foreign Affairs, which I suppose may be found upon their 

files. I have the honour to be, &c., 



1797- REMARKS (L. c.) 


SAVAGES we call them, because their Manners differ from 
ours, which we think the Perfection of Civility; they think 
the same of theirs. 

Perhaps, if we could examine the Manners of different 
Nations with Impartiality, we should find no People so rude, 
as to be without any Rules of Politeness ; nor any so polite, 
as not to have some Remains of Rudeness. 

The Indian Men, when young, are Hunters and Warriors ; 
when old, Counsellors; for all their Government is by 
Counsel of the Sages ; there is no Force, there are no Prisons, 
no Officers to compel Obedience, or inflict Punishment. 
Hence they generally study Oratory, the best Speaker having 
the most Influence. The Indian Women till the Ground, 
dress the Food, nurse and bring up the Children, and pre- 
serve and hand down to Posterity the Memory of public 
Transactions. These Employments of Men and Women 
are accounted natural and honourable. Having few arti- 
ficial Wants, they have abundance of Leisure for Improve- 
ment by Conversation. Our laborious Manner of Life, com- 
pared with theirs, they esteem slavish and base; and the 

1 This paper was published in a separate pamphlet in England, in the year 
1784 ; and afterwards, in 1787, formed a part of the edition printed for Dilly. 
The draft in L. C. is undated, and it is uncertain when it was written. ED. 
VOL. x H 97 


Learning, on which we value ourselves, they regard as 
frivolous and useless. An Instance of this occurred at the 
Treaty of Lancaster, in Pennsylvania, anno 1744, between the 
Government of Virginia and the Six Nations. After the prin- 
cipal Business was settled, the Commissioners from Virginia 
acquainted the Indians by a Speech, that there was at Wil- 
liamsburg a College, with a Fund for Educating Indian youth ; 
and that, if the Six Nations would send down half a dozen 
of their young Lads to that College, the Government would 
take care that they should be well provided for, and in- 
structed in all the Learning of the White People. It is one 
of the Indian Rules of Politeness not to answer a public 
Proposition the same day that it is made ; they think it would 
be treating it as a light matter, and that they show it Respect 
by taking time to consider it, as of a Matter important. 
They therefore def err'd their Answer till the Day following ; 
when their Speaker began, by expressing their deep Sense of 
the kindness of the Virginia Government, in making them 
that Offer; "for we know," says he, "that you highly es- 
teem the kind of Learning taught in those Colleges, and that 
the Maintenance of our young Men, while with you, would be 
very expensive to you. We are convinc'd, therefore, that 
you mean to do us Good by your Proposal; and we thank 
you heartily. But you, who are wise, must know that differ- 
ent Nations have different Conceptions of things; and you 
will therefore not take it amiss, if our Ideas of this kind of 
Education happen not to be the same with yours. We have 
had some Experience of it; Several of our young People 
were formerly brought up at the Colleges of the Northern 
Provinces; they were instructed in all your Sciences; but, 
when they came back to us, they were bad Runners, ignorant 


of every means of living in the Woods, unable to bear either 
Cold or Hunger, knew neither how to build a Cabin, take a 
Deer, or kill an Enemy, spoke our Language imperfectly, 
were therefore neither fit for Hunters, Warriors, nor Coun- 
sellors ; they were totally good for nothing. We are however 
not the less oblig'd by your kind Offer, tho' we decline accept- 
ing it ; and, to show our grateful Sense of it, if the Gentlemen 
of Virginia will send us a Dozen of their Sons, we will take 
great Care of their Education, instruct them in all we know, 
and make Men of them." 

Having frequent Occasions to hold public Councils, they 
have acquired great Order and Decency in conducting them. 
The old Men sit in the foremost Ranks, the Warriors in the 
next, and the Women and Children in the hindmost. The 
Business of the Women is to take exact Notice of what passes, 
imprint it in their Memories (for they have no Writing), 
and communicate it to their Children. They are the Records 
of the Council, and they preserve Traditions of the Stipula- 
tions in Treaties 100 Years back ; which, when we compare 
with our Writings, we always find exact. He that would 
speak, rises. The rest observe a profound Silence. When he 
has finish 'd and sits down, they leave him 5 or 6 Minutes to 
recollect, that, if he has omitted any thing he intended to say, 
or has any thing to add, he may rise again and deliver it. 
To interrupt another, even in common Conversation, is 
reckon'd highly indecent. How different this is from the 
conduct of a polite British House of Commons, where scarce 
a day passes without some Confusion, that makes the Speaker 
hoarse in calling to Order; and how different from the Mode 
of Conversation in many polite Companies of Europe, where, 
if you do not deliver your Sentence with great Rapidity, you 


are cut off in the middle of it by the Impatient Loquacity 
of those you converse with, and never suffer'd to finish it ! 

The Politeness of these Savages in Conversation is indeed 
carried to Excess, since it does not permit them to contradict 
or deny the Truth of what is asserted in their Presence. By 
this means they indeed avoid Disputes ; but then it becomes 
difficult to know their Minds, or what Impression you make 
upon them. The Missionaries who have attempted to con- 
vert them to Christianity, all complain of this as one of the 
great Difficulties of their Mission. The Indians hear with 
Patience the Truths of the Gospel explain'd to them, and 
give their usual Tokens of Assent and Approbation; you 
would think they were con vine' d. No such matter. It is 
mere Civility. 

A Swedish Minister, having assembled the chiefs of the 
Susquehanah Indians, made a Sermon to them, acquainting 
them with the principal historical Facts on which our Reli- 
gion is founded ; such as the Fall of our first Parents by eating 
an Apple, the coming of Christ to repair the Mischief, his 
Miracles and Suffering, &c. When he had finished, an 
Indian Orator stood up to thank him. "What you have told 
us," says he, "is all very good. It is indeed bad to eat 
Apples. It is better to make them all into Cyder. We are 
much oblig'd by your kindness in coming so far, to tell us these 
Things which you have heard from your Mothers. In return, 
I will tell you some of those we have heard from ours. In 
the Beginning, our Fathers had only the Flesh of Animals 
to subsist on; and if their Hunting was unsuccessful, they 
were starving. Two of our young Hunters, having kill'd 
a Deer, made a Fire in the Woods to broil some Part of it. 
When they were about to satisfy their Hunger, they beheld a 


beautiful young Woman descend from the Clouds, and seat 
herself on that Hill, which you see yonder among the blue 
Mountains. They said to each other, it is a Spirit that 
has smelt our broiling Venison, and wishes to eat of it ; let us 
offer some to her. They presented her with the Tongue ; she 
was pleas'd with the Taste of it, and said, 'Your kindness 
shall be rewarded ; come to this Place after thirteen Moons, 
and you shall find something that will be of great Benefit in 
nourishing you and your Children to the latest Generations.' 
They did so, and, to their Surprise, found Plants they had 
never seen before; but which, from that ancient time, have 
been constantly cultivated among us, to our great Advantage. 
Where her right Hand had touched the Ground, they found 
Maize; where her left hand had touch'd it, they found 
Kidney-Beans; and where her Backside had sat on it, they 
found Tobacco." The good Missionary, disgusted with this 
idle Tale, said, "What I delivered to you were sacred Truths; 
but what you tell me is mere Fable, Fiction, and Falshood." 
The Indian, offended, reply 'd, "My brother, it seems your 
Friends have not done you Justice in your Education ; they 
have not well instructed you in the Rules of common Civility. 
You saw that we, who understand and practise those Rules, 
believ'd all your stories; why do you refuse to believe ours?" 
When any of them come into our Towns, our People are 
apt to crowd round them, gaze upon them, and incommode 
them, where they desire to be private ; this they esteem great 
Rudeness, and the Effect of the Want of Instruction in the 
Rules of Civility and good Manners. "We have," say they, 
"as much Curiosity as you, and when you come into our 
Towns, we wish for Opportunities of looking at you; but 
for this purpose we hide ourselves behind Bushes, where you 


are to pass, and never intrude ourselves into your Com- 

Their Manner of entring one another's village has likewise 
its Rules. It is reckon'd uncivil in travelling Strangers to 
enter a Village abruptly, without giving Notice of their 
Approach. Therefore, as soon as they arrive within hearing, 
they stop and hollow, remaining there till invited to enter. 
Two old Men usually come out to them, and lead them in. 
There is in every Village a vacant Dwelling, called the Strang- 
ers' House. Here they are plac'd, while the old Men go 
round from Hut to Hut, acquainting the Inhabitants, that 
Strangers are arriv'd, who are probably hungry and weary ; 
and every one sends them what he can spare of Victuals, and 
Skins to repose on. When the Strangers are refresh'd, 
Pipes and Tobacco are brought; and then, but not before, 
Conversation begins, with Enquiries who they are, whither 
bound, what News, &c. ; and it usually ends with offers of 
Service, if the Strangers have occasion of Guides, or any 
Necessaries for continuing their Journey; and nothing is 
exacted for the Entertainment. 

The same Hospitality, esteem'd among them as a principal 
Virtue, is practis'd by private Persons; of which Conrad 
Weiser, our Interpreter, gave me the following Instance. He 
had been naturaliz'd among the Six Nations, and spoke well 
the Mohock Language. In going thro' the Indian Country, 
to carry a Message from our Governor to the Council at 
Onondaga, he call'd at the Habitation of Canassatego, an 
old Acquaintance, who embrac'd him, spread Furs for him to 
sit on, plac'd before him some boil'd Beans and Venison, and 
mix'd some Rum and Water for his Drink. When he was 
well refresh'd, and had lit his Pipe, Canassatego began to 


converse with him ; ask'd how he had f ar'd the many Years 
since they had seen each other; whence he then came; 
what occasion'd the Journey, &c. Conrad answered all 
his Questions; and when the Discourse began to flag, the 
Indian, to continue it, said, "Conrad, you have lived long 
among the white People, and know something of their Cus- 
toms ; I have been sometimes at Albany, and have observed, 
that once in Seven Days they shut up their Shops, and 
assemble all in the great House; tell me what it is for? 
What do they do there?" "They meet there," says Conrad, 
"to hear and learn good Things." "I do not doubt," says 
the Indian, "that they tell you so; they have told me the 
same; but I doubt the Truth of what they say, and I will 
tell you my Reasons. I went lately to Albany to sell my 
Skins and buy Blankets, Knives, Powder, Rum, &c. You 
know I us'd generally to deal with Hans Hanson ; but I was 
a little inclin'd this time to try some other Merchant. How- 
ever, I call'd first upon Hans, and asked him what he would 
give for Beaver. He said he could not give any more than 
four Shillings a Pound; 'but,' says he, 'I cannot talk on 
Business now; this is the Day when we meet together to 
learn Good Things, and I am going to the Meeting.' So I 
thought to myself, ' Since we cannot do any Business to-day, 
I may as well go to the meeting too,' and I went with him. 
There stood up a Man in Black, and began to talk to the 
People very angrily. I did not understand what he said ; 
but, perceiving that he look'd much at me and at Hanson, I 
imagin'd he was angry at seeing me there ; so I went out, sat 
down near the House, struck Fire, and lit my Pipe, waiting 
till the Meeting should break up. I thought too, that the 
Man had mention'd something of Beaver, and I suspected it 


might be the Subject of their Meeting. So, when they came 
out, I accosted my Merchant. 'Well, Hans,' says I, 'I 
hope you have agreed to give more than four Shillings a 
Pound.' 'No,' says he, 'I cannot give so much; I cannot 
give more than three shillings and sixpence.' I then spoke 
to several other Dealers, but they all sung the same song, 
Three and sixpence, Three and sixpence. This made it 
clear to me, that my Suspicion was right ; and, that whatever 
they pretended of meeting to learn good Things, the real pur- 
pose was to consult how to cheat Indians in the Price of 
Beaver. Consider but a little, Conrad, and you must be 
of my Opinion. If they met so often to learn good Things, 
they would certainly have learnt some before this time. 
But they are still ignorant. You know our Practice. If a 
white Man, in travelling thro' our Country, enters one of our 
Cabins, we all treat him as I treat you ; we dry him if he is 
wet, we warm him if he is cold, we give him Meat and Drink, 
that he may allay his Thirst and Hunger; and we spread 
soft Furs for him to rest and sleep on ; we demand nothing 
in return. But, if I go into a white Man's House at Albany, 
and ask for Victuals and Drink, they say, 'Where is your 
Money ? ' and if I have none, they say, ' Get out, you Indian 
Dog.' You see they have not yet learned those little Good 
Things, that we need no Meetings to be instructed in, be- 
cause our Mothers taught them to us when we were Children ; 
and therefore it is impossible their Meetings should be, as 
they say, for any such purpose, or have any such Effect; 
they are only to contrive the Cheating of Indians in the Price 
of Beaver." 

NOTE. It is remarkable that in all Ages and Countries Hospitality has been 
allow'd as the Virtue of those whom the civiliz'd were pleas'd to call Barba- 


rians. The Greeks celebrated the Scythians for it. The Saracens possess'd 
it eminently, and it is to this day the reigning Virtue of the wild Arabs. 
St. Paul, too, in the Relation of his Voyage and Shipwreck on the Island of 
Melita says the Barbarous People shewed us no little kindness ; for they kin- 
dled a fire, and received us every one, because of the present Rain, and be- 
cause of the Cold. F. 


"John Oxly, Pawnbroker of Bethnal Green, was indicted for assaulting 
Jonathan Boldsworth on the Highway, putting him in fear, and taking from 
him one Silver Watch, value 5/. 5*. The Prisoner pleaded, that, having sold 
the Watch to the Prosecutor, and being immediately after informed by a 
Person who knew him, that he was not likely to pay for the same, he had 
only followed him and taken the Watch back again. But it appearing on 
the Trial, that, presuming he had not been known when he committed the 
Robbery, he had afterwards sued the Prosecutor for the Debt, on his Note 
of Hand, he was found Guilty, DEATH." Old Bailey Sessions Paper, 1747. 

I CHOSE the above Extract from the Proceedings at the 
Old Bailey in the Trial of Criminals, as a Motto or Text, 
on which to amplify in my ensuing Discourse. But on 
second Thoughts, having given it forth, I shall, after the 
Example of some other Preachers, quit it for the present, and 
leave to my Readers, if I should happen to have any, the 
Task of discovering what Relation there may possibly be 
between my Text and my Sermon. 

During some Years past, the British Newspapers have 
been filled with Reflections on the Inhabitants of America, 
tor not paying their old Debts to English Merchants. And 

1 The extract from the Sessions Paper and the first paragraph of this article 
are written in Franklin's hand, in ink, on the back of a letter to him from 
T. Barker, dated April 16, 1786. [Jonathan Boldsworth is there called Henry."] 
The article seems to be referred to in Franklin to Bishop Shipley, February 
24, 1786, and is certainly the paper mentioned in a letter to Le Veillard, 
April 15, 1787. It is there said to have been written about a year. ED. 


from these Papers the same Reflections have been translated 
into Foreign Prints, and circulated throughout Europe; 
whereby the American Character, respecting Honour, 
Probity, and Justice in commercial Transactions, is made to 
suffer in the Opinion of Strangers, which may be attended 
with pernicious Consequences. 

At length we are told that the British Court has taken up 
the Complaint, and seriously offer'd it as a reason for refusing 
to evacuate the Frontier Posts according to Treaty. This 
gives a kind of Authenticity to the Charge, and makes it now 
more necessary to examine the matter thoro'ly; to inquire 
impartially into the Conduct of both Nations; take Blame 
to ourselves where we have merited it ; and, where it may be 
fairly done, mitigate the Severity of the Censures that are so 
liberally bestow'd upon us. 

We may begin by observing, that before the War our 
mercantile Character was good. In Proof of this (and a 
stronger Proof can hardly be desired), the Votes of the House 
of Commons in 1774-5 have recorded a Petition signed by the 
Body of the Merchants of London trading to North America, 
hi which they expressly set forth, not only that the Trade 
was profitable to the Kingdom, but that the Remittances and 
Payments were as punctually and faithfully made, as in any 
other Branch of Commerce whatever. These Gentlemen 
were certainly competent Judges, and as to that Point could 
have no Interest in deceiving the Government. 

The making of these punctual Remittances was however a 
Difficulty. Britain, acting on the selfish and perhaps mis- 
taken Principle of receiving nothing from abroad that could 
be produced at home, would take no Articles of our Produce 
that interfered with any of her own ; and what did not inter- 


fere, she loaded with heavy Duties. We had no Mines of Gold 
or Silver. We were therefore oblig'd to run the World over, in 
search of something that would be receiv'd in England. We 
sent our Provisions and Lumber to the West Indies, where 
Exchange was made for Sugars, Cotton, &c. to remit. We 
brought Mollasses from thence, distill'd it into Rum, with 
which we traded in Africa, and remitted the Gold Dust to 
England. We employ'd ourselves in the Fisheries, and sent 
the Fish we caught, together with Quantities of Wheat 
Flour, and Rice, to Spain and Portugal, from whence the 
Amount was remitted to England in Cash or Bills of Exchange. 
Great Quantities of our Rice, too, went to Holland, Ham- 
burgh &c., and the Value of that was also sent to Britain. 
Add to this, that contenting ourselves with Paper, all the hard 
Money we could possibly pick up among the Foreign West 
India Islands, was continually sent off to Britain, not a Ship 
going thither from America without some Chests of those 
precious Metals. 

Imagine this great Machine of mutually advantageous 
Commerce, going roundly on, in full Train; our Ports all 
busy, receiving and selling British Manufactures, and equip- 
ping Ships for the circuitous Trade, that was finally to pro- 
cure the necessary Remittances ; the Seas covered with those 
Ships, and with several hundred Sail of our Fishermen, all 
working for Britain; and then let us consider what Effect 
the Conduct of Britain, in 1774 and 1775 and the following 
Years, must naturally have on the future Ability of our Mer- 
chants to make the Payments in question. 

We will not here enter into the Motives of that Conduct ; 
they are well enough known, and not to her Honour. The 
first Step was shutting up the Port of Boston by an Act of 


Parliament; the next, to prohibit by another the New Eng- 
land Fishery. An Army and a Fleet were sent to enforce 
these Acts. Here was a Stop put at once to all the mercantile 
Operations of one of the greatest trading Cities of America; 
the Fishing Vessels all laid up, and the usual Remittances, by 
way of Spain, Portugal, and the Straits, render'd impossible. 
Yet the Cry was now begun against us, These New England 
People do not pay their Debts! 

The Ships of the Fleet employ'd themselves hi cruising 
separately all along the Coast. The marine Gentry are 
seldom so well contented with their Pay, as not to like a little 
Plunder. They stopp'd and seiz'd, under slight Pretences, 
the American Vessels they met with, belonging to whatever 
Colony. This checked the Commerce of them all. Ships 
loaded with Cargoes destin'd either directly or indirectly to 
make Remittance in England, were not spared. If the 
Difference between the two Countries had been then accom- 
modated, these unauthoriz'd Plunderers would have been 
called to account, and many of their Exploits must have 
been found Piracy. But what cur'd all this, set their Minds 
at ease, made short Work, and gave full Scope to their 
Piratical Disposition, was another Act of Parliament, for- 
bidding any Inquisition into those past Facts, declaring them 
all Lawful, and all American Property to be forfeited, whether 
on Sea or Land, and authorizing the King's British Subjects 
to take, seize, sink, burn, or destroy, whatever they could find 
of it. The Property suddenly, and by surprise taken from our 
Merchants by the Operation of this Act, is incomputable. 
And yet the Cry did not diminish, These Americans don't 
pay their Debts! 

Had the several States of America, on the Publication of 


this Act seiz'd all British Property in their Power, whether 
consisting of Lands in their Country, Ships in their Har- 
bours, or Debts in the Hands of their Merchants, by way 
of Retaliation, it is probable a great Part of the World 
would have deem'd such Conduct justifiable. They, it 
seems, thought otherwise, and it was done only in one or 
two States, and that under particular Circumstances of 
Provocation. And not having thus abolish'd all Demands, 
the Cry subsists, that the Americans should pay their 

General Gage, being with his Army (before the declaration 
of open War) in peaceable Possession of Boston, shut its 
Gates, and plac'd Guards all around to prevent its Communi- 
cation with the Country. The Inhabitants were on the 
Point of Starving. The general, though they were evidently 
at his Mercy, fearing that, while they had any Arms in their 
Hands, frantic Desperation might possibly do him some 
Mischief, propos'd to them a Capitulation, hi which he stipu- 
lated, that if they would deliver up their Arms, they might 
leave the Town with their Families and Goods. In faith of 
this Agreement, they deliver'd their Arms. But when they 
began to pack up for their Departure, they were inform'd, 
that by the word Goods, the General understood only Hous- 
hold Goods, that is, their Beds, Chairs, and Tables, not 
Merchant Goods; those he was inform'd they were indebted 
for to the Merchants of England, and he must secure them 
for the Creditors. They were accordingly all seized, to an 
immense Value, "what had been paid for not excepted. It is 
to be supposed, tho' we have never heard of it, that this very 
honourable General, when he returned home, made a just 
Dividend of those Goods, or their Value, among the said 


Creditors. But the Cry nevertheless continued, These Bos- 
ton People do not pay their Debts! 

The Army, having thus ruin'd Boston, proceeded to differ- 
ent Parts of the Continent. They got possession of all the 
capital trading Towns. The Troops gorg'd themselves with 
Plunder. They stopp'd all the Trade of Philadelphia for 
near a year, of Rhode Island longer, of New York near 
eight Years, of Charlestown in South Carolina and Savanah 
in Georgia, I forget how long. This continu'd Interruption 
of their Commerce ruin'd many Merchants. The Army also 
burnt to the Ground the fine Towns of Falmouth and Charles- 
town near Boston, New London, Fairfield, Norwalk, Esopus, 
Norfolk, the chief trading City hi Virginia, besides innumer- 
able Country Seats and private Farm-Houses. This wanton 
Destruction of Property operated doubly to the Disabling 
of our Merchants, who were importers from Britain, hi mak- 
ing their Payments, by the immoderate Loss they sustain'd 
themselves, and also the Loss suffered by their Country 
Debtors, who had bought of them the British Goods, and who 
were now render'd unable to pay. The Debts to Britain of 
course remained undischarg'd, and the Clamour continu'd, 
These knavish Americans will not pay us! 

Many of the British Debts, particularly in Virginia and the 
Carolinas, arose from the Sales made of Negroes in those 
Provinces by the British Guinea merchants. 1 These, with 
all before in the country, were employed when the 
war came on, hi raising tobacco and rice for remittance 
hi payment of British debts. An order arrives from 
England, advised by one of their most celebrated moralists, 
Dr. Johnson, in his Taxation no Tyranny, to excite these slaves 

1 At this point the draft in L. C. terminates. ED. 


to rise, cut the throats of their purchasers, and resort to the 
British army, where they should be rewarded with freedom. 
This was done, and the planters were thus deprived of near 
thirty thousand of their working people. Yet the demand 
for those sold and unpaid still exists ; and the cry continues 
against the Virginians and Carolinians, that they do not pay 
their debts! 

Virginia suffered great loss in this kind of property by 
another ingenious and humane British invention. Having 
the small-pox in their army while in that country, they inocu- 
lated some of the negroes they took as prisoners belonging to a 
number of plantations, and then let them escape, or sent them, 
covered with the pock, to mix with and spread the distemper 
among the others of their colour, as well as among the white 
country people ; which occasioned a great mortality of both, 
and certainly did not contribute to the enabling debtors in 
making payment. The war too having put a stop to the 
exportation of tobacco, there was a great accumulation of 
several years' produce in all the public inspecting warehouses 
and private stores of the planters. Arnold, Phillips, and 
Cornwallis, with British troops, then entered and overran the 
country, burnt all the inspecting and other stores of tobacco, 
to the amount of some hundred ship-loads ; all which might, 
on the return of peace, if it had not been thus wantonly de- 
stroyed, have been remitted to British creditors. But these 
d d Virginians, why don't they pay their debts ? 

Paper money was in those times our universal currency. 
But, it being the instrument with which we combated our 
enemies, they resolved to deprive us of its use by depreciating 
it; and the most effectual means they could contrive was to 
counterfeit it. The artists they employed performed so 


well, that immense quantities of these counterfeits, which 
issued from the British government in New York, were cir- 
culated among the inhabitants of all the States, before the 
fraud was detected. This operated considerably in depre- 
ciating the whole mass, first, by the vast additional quantity, 
and next by the uncertainty in distinguishing the true from 
the false; and the depreciation was a loss to all and the 
ruin of many. It is true our enemies gained a vast deal of 
our property by the operation ; but it did not go into the hands 
of our particular creditors ; so their demands still subsisted, 
and we were still abused for not paying our debts! 

By the seventh article of the treaty of peace, it was solemnly 
stipulated, that the King's troops, in evacuating their posts 
in the United States, should not carry away with them any 
negroes. In direct violation of this article, General Carleton, 
in evacuating New York, carried off all the negroes that were 
with his army, to the amount of several hundreds. It is not 
doubted that he must have had secret orders to justify him 
in this transaction; but the reason given out was, that, as 
they had quitted their masters and joined the King's troops 
on the faith of proclamations promising them their liberty, 
the national honour forbade returning them into slavery. 
The national honour was, it seemed, pledged to both parts of 
a contradiction, and its wisdom, since it could not do it with 
both, chose to keep faith rather with its old black, than its 
new white friends; a circumstance demonstrating clear as 
daylight, that, hi making a present peace, they meditated a 
future war, and hoped, that, though the promised manu- 
mission of slaves had not been effectual in the last, in the next 
it might be more successful ; and that, had the negroes been 
forsaken, no aid could be hereafter expected from those of 


the colour in a future invasion. The treaty however with us 
was thus broken almost as soon as made, and this by the people 
who charge us with breaking it by not paying perhaps for 
some of the very negroes carried off in defiance of it. Why 
should England observe treaties, when these Americans do not 
pay their debts? 

Unreasonable, however, as this clamour appears in general, 
I do not pretend, by exposing it, to justify those debtors who 
are still able to pay, and refuse it on pretence of injuries 
suffered by the war. Public injuries can never discharge 
private obligations. Contracts between merchant and mer- 
chant should be sacredly observed, where the ability remains, 
whatever may be the madness of ministers. It is therefore 
to be hoped the fourth article of the treaty of peace which 
stipulates, that no legal obstruction shall be given to the pay- 
ment of debts contracted before the war, will be punctually 
carried into execution, and that every law in every State which 
impedes it, may be immediately repealed. Those laws were 
indeed made with honest intentions, that the half-ruined 
debtor, not being too suddenly pressed by some, might have 
time to arrange and recover his affairs so as to do justice to 
all his creditors. But, since the intention in making those acts 
has been misapprehended, and the acts wilfully misconstrued 
into a design of defrauding them, and now made a matter of 
reproach to us, I think it will be right to repeal them all. 
Individual Americans may be ruined, but the country will 
save by the operation; since these unthinking, merciless 
creditors must be contented with all that is to be had, instead 
of all that may be due to them, and the accounts will be 
settled by insolvency. When all have paid that can pay, I 
think the remaining British creditors, who suffered by the 
VOL. x i 


inability of their ruined debtors, have some right to call upon 
their own government (which by its bad projects has ruined 
those debtors) for a compensation. A sum given by Parlia- 
ment for this purpose would be more properly disposed, than 
in rewarding pretended loyalists, who fomented the war. 
And, the heavier the sum, the more tendency it might have 
to discourage such destructive projects hereafter. 

Among the merchants of Britain, trading formerly to 
America, there are to my knowledge many considerate and 
generous men, who never joined in this clamour, and who, 
on the return of peace, though by the treaty entitled to an 
immediate suit for their debts, were kindly disposed to give 
their debtors reasonable time for restoring their circumstances, 
so as to be able to make payment conveniently. These de- 
serve the most grateful acknowledgments. And indeed it was 
in their favour, and perhaps for their sakes in favour of all 
other British creditors, that the law of Pennsylvania, though 
since much exclaimed against, was made, restraining the 
recovery of old debts during a certain time. For this restraint 
was general, respecting domestic as well as British debts, 
it being thought unfair, in cases where there was not suffi- 
cient for all, that the inhabitants, taking advantage of their 
nearer situation, should swallow the whole, excluding foreign 
creditors from any share. And in cases where the favourable 
part of the foreign creditors were disposed to give time, with 
the views abovementioned, if others less humane and con- 
siderate were allowed to bring immediate suits and ruin the 
debtor, those views would be defeated. When this law 
expired in September, 1 784, a new one was made, continuing 
for some time longer the restraint with respect to domestic 
debts, but expressly taking it away where the debt was due 


from citizens of the State to any of the subjects of Great 
Britain ; 1 which shows clearly the disposition of the Assembly, 
and that the fair intentions above ascribed to them in making 
the former act, are not merely the imagination of the writer. 
Indeed, the clamour has been much augmented by numbers 
joining it, who really had no claim on our country. Every 
debtor in Britain, engaged in whatever trade, when he had no 
better excuse to give for delay of payment, accused the want of 
returns from America. And the indignation, thus excited 
against us, now appears so general among the English, that 
one would imagine their nation, which is so exact in expect- 
ing punctual payment from all the rest of the world, must 
be at home the model of justice, the very pattern of punc- 
tuality. Yet, if one were disposed to recriminate, it would 
not be difficult to find sufficient Matter in several Parts of 
their Conduct. But this I forbear. The two separate 
Nations are now at Peace, and there can be no use in mutual 
Provocations to fresh Enmity. If I have shown clearly that 
the present Inability of many American Merchants to dis- 
charge their Debts, contracted before the War, is not so much 
their Fault, as the Fault of the crediting Nation, who, by 
making an unjust War on them, obstructing their Commerce, 
plundering and devastating their Country, were the Cause of 

1 Extract from an Act of the General Assembly of Pennsylvania, entitled, 
" An Act for directing the Mode of recovering Debts contracted before the 
first Day of January, in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred 
and seventy-seven." 

Exception in Favour of British Creditors. 

" Sect. 7. And provided also, and be it further enacted by the authority 
aforesaid, that this Act, nor any thing therein contained, shall not extend, or 
be construed to extend, to any debt or debts which were due before the fourth 
day of July, one thousand seven hundred and seventy-six, by any of the 
citizens of the State, to any of the subjects of Great Britain." F. 


that Inability, I have answered the Purpose of writing this 
Paper. How far the Refusal of the British Court to execute 
the Treaty in delivering up the Frontier Posts may on account 
of this Deficiency of Payment, be justifiable, is chearfully 
submitted to the World's impartial Judgment. 


(L. C.) 


THERE is a Tradition, that, in the Planting of New England, 
the first Settlers met with many Difficulties and Hardships 
as is generally the Case when a civilized People attempt 
establishing themselves in a wilderness Country. Being 
piously dispos'd, they sought Relief from Heaven, by laying 
their Wants and Distresses before the Lord, in frequent set 
Days of Fasting and Prayer. Constant Meditation and 
Discourse on these Subjects kept their Minds gloomy and 
discontented; and, like the Children of Israel, there were 
many dispos'd to return to that Egypt, which Persecution 
had induc'd them to abandon. At length, when it was pro- 
posed in the Assembly to proclaim another Fast, a Farmer 
of plain Sense rose, and remark'd, that the Inconveniencies 
they suffer'd, and concerning which they had so often weary'd 
Heaven with their Complaints, were not so great as they 

1 Two copies, the rough draft and a transcript, of this article exist in L. C. 
Sparks and Bigelow printed from the transcript. I have followed the rough 
draft. ED. 


might have expected, and were diminishing every day, as 
the Colony strengthen'd ; that the Earth began to reward 
their Labour, and to furnish liberally for their Subsistence; 
that the Seas and Rivers were full of Fish, the Air sweet, 
the Climate healthy ; and, above all, that they were there in 
the full Enjoyment of Liberty, civil and religious. He there- 
fore thought, that reflecting and conversing on these Subjects 
would be more comfortable, as tending more to make them 
contented with their Situation; and that it would be more 
becoming the Gratitude they ow'd to the Divine Being, if, 
instead of a Fast, they should proclaim a Thanksgiving. His 
Advice was taken; and from that day to this they have, in 
every Year, observ'd Circumstances of public Felicity 
sufficient to furnish Employment for a Thanksgiving Day; 
which is therefore constantly ordered and religiously ob- 

I see in the Public Papers of different States frequent 
Complaints of hard Times, deadness of Trade, scarcity of 
Money, &c. It is not my Intention to assert or maintain, 
that these Complaints are intirely without Foundation. 
There can be no Country or Nation existing, hi which there 
will not be some People so circumstanced, as to find it hard 
to gain a Livelihood ; people who are not in the way of any 
profitable Trade, and with whom Money is scarce, because 
they have nothing to give in Exchange for it ; and it is always 
in the Power of a small Number to make a great Clamour. 
But let us take a cool View of the general State of our Affairs, 
and perhaps the Prospect will appear less gloomy than has 
been imagined. 

The great Business of the Continent is Agriculture. For 
one Artisan, or Merchant, I suppose, we have at least 100 


Farmers, by far the greatest part Cultivators of their own 
fertile Lands, from whence many of them draw, not only the 
Food necessary for their Subsistance, but the Materials of 
their Clothing, so as to have little Occasion for foreign Sup- 
plies ; while they have a Surplus of Productions to dispose of, 
whereby Wealth is gradually accumulated. Such has been 
the Goodness of Divine Providence to these Regions, and so 
favourable the Climate, that, since the three or four Years of 
Hardship hi the first Settlement of our Fathers here, a Famine 
or Scarcity has never been heard of among us; on the con- 
trary, tho' some Years may have been more, and others less 
plentiful, there has always been Provision enough for our- 
selves, and a Quantity to spare for Exportation. And altho' 
the Crops of last year were generally good, never was the 
Farmer better paid for the Part he can spare Commerce, as 
the published Price-Currents abundantly testify. The Lands 
he possesses are also continually rising in Value with the 
Increase of Population ; and, on the whole, he is enabled to 
give such good Wages to those who work for him, that all 
who are acquainted with the old World must agree, that 
in no Part of it are the labouring Poor so well fed, well 
cloth'd, well lodg'd, and well paid, as in the United States of 

If we enter the Cities, we find, that, since the Revolution, 
the Owners of Houses and Lots of Ground have had their 
Interest vastly augmented in Value ; Rents have risen to an 
astonishing Height, and thence Encouragement to encrease 
Building, which gives Employment to an abundance of 
Workmen, as does also the encreas'd Luxury and Splendor of 
Living of the Inhabitants, thus made richer. These Work- 
men all demand and obtain much higher Wages than any 


other Part of the World would afford them, and are paid in 
ready Money. This Rank of People therefore do not, or 
ought not, to complain of hard Times ; and they make a very 
considerable part of the City Inhabitants. 

At the Distance I live from our American Fisheries, I 
cannot speak of them with any Certainty; but I have not 
heard, that the Labour of the valuable Race of Men employ'd 
in them is worse paid, or that they meet with less Success, 
than before the Revolution. The Whalemen indeed have 
been depriv'd of one Market for their Oil; but another, I 
hear, is opening for them, which it is hoped may be equally 
advantageous ; and the Demand is constantly encreasing for 
their Spermaceti Candles, which therefore bear a much higher 
Price than formerly. 

There remain the Merchants and Shopkeepers. Of these, 
tho' they make but a small Part of the whole Nation, the 
Number is considerable, too great indeed for the Business 
they are employ'd in: For the Consumption of Goods hi 
every Country, has its Limits; the Faculties of the People, 
that is, their Ability to buy and pay, being equal only to a 
certain Quantity of Merchandize. If Merchants calculate 
amiss on this Proportion, and import too much, they will of 
course find the Sale dull for the Overplus, and some of them 
will say, that Trade languishes. They should, and doubt- 
less will, grow wiser by Experience, and import less. If too 
many Artificers in Town, and Farmers from the Country, 
flattering themselves with the Idea of leading easier Lives, 
turn Shopkeepers, the whole natural Quantity of Business 
divided among them all may afford too small a Share for 
each, and occasion Complaints, that Trading is dead ; these 
may also suppose, that it is owing to Scarcity of Money, 


while, in fact, it is not so much from the Fewness of Buyers, 
as from the excessive Number of Sellers, that the Mischief 
arises; and, if every Shop-keeping Farmer and Mechanic 
would return to the Use of his Plough and working-Tools, 
there would remain of Widows, and other Women, Shop- 
keepers sufficient for that Business, which might then afford 
them a comfortable Maintenance. 

Whoever has travelled thro' the various Parts of Europe, 
and observed how small is the Proportion of People hi Afflu- 
ence or easy Circumstances there, compar'd with those in 
Poverty and Misery; the few rich and haughty Landlords, 
the multitude of poor, abject, and rack'd Tenants, and the 
half -paid and half-starv'd ragged Labourers ; and views here 
the happy Mediocrity, that so generally prevails throughout 
these States, where the Cultivator works for himself, and sup- 
ports his Family in decent Plenty, will, methinks, see abun- 
dant Reason to bless Divine Providence for the evident and 
great Difference in our Favour, and be convinc'd, that no 
Nation that is known to us enjoys a greater Share of human 

It is true, that in some of the States there are Parties and 
Discords ; but let us look back, and ask if we were ever with- 
out them? Such will exist wherever there is Liberty; and 
perhaps they help to preserve it. By the Collision of differ- 
ent Sentiments, Sparks of Truth are struck out, and political 
Light is obtained. The different Factions, which at present 
divide us, aim all at the Publick Good ; the Differences are 
only about the various Modes of promoting it. Things, 
Actions, Measures, and Objects of all kinds, present themselves 
to the Minds of Men in such a Variety of Lights, that it is 
not possible we should all think alike at the same time on 


every Subject, when hardly the same Man retains at all times 
the same Ideas of it. Parties are therefore the common Lot 
of Humanity; and ours are by no means more mischievous 
or less beneficial than those of other Countries, Nations, and 
Ages, enjoying in the same Degree the great Blessing of 
Political Liberty. 

Some indeed among us are not so much griev'd for the 
present State of our Affairs, as apprehensive for the future. 
The Growth of Luxury alarms them, and they think we are 
from that alone in the high Road to Ruin. They observe, 
that no Revenue is sufficient without Economy, and that the 
most plentiful Income of a whole People from the natural 
Productions of their Country may be dissipated in vain and 
needless Expences, and Poverty be introduced hi the place 
of Affluence. This may be possible. It however rarely hap- 
pens; for there seems to be in every Nation a greater Pro- 
portion of Industry and Frugality, which tend to enrich, than 
of Idleness and Prodigality, which occasion Poverty ; so that 
upon the whole there is a continual Accumulation. Reflect 
what Spain, Gaul, Germany, and Britain were in the Time 
of the Romans, inhabited by People little richer than our 
Savages, and consider the Wealth they at present possess, 
in numerous well-built Cities, improv'd Farms, rich Move- 
ables, Magazines stor'd with valuable Manufactures, to 
say nothing of Plate, Jewels, and ready Money ; and all this, 
notwithstanding their bad, wasteful, plundering Govern- 
ments, and their mad, destructive Wars; and yet Luxury 
and Extravagant Living have never suffered much Restraint 
in those Countries. Then consider the great proportion of 
industrious frugal Farmers inhabiting the interior Part of 
these American States, and of whom the Body of our Nation 


consists; and judge whether it is probable the Luxury of 
our Seaports can be sufficient to ruin such a Country. If 
the Importation of foreign Luxuries could ruin a People, we 
should probably have been ruin'd long ago ; for the British 
Nation claim'd a right, and practis'd it, of importing among 
us, not only the Superfluities of their own Production, but 
those of every Nation under Heaven; we bought and con- 
sum'd them, and yet we flourish'd and grew rich. At present, 
our independent Governments may do what we could not 
then do, discourage by heavy Duties, or prevent by Prohibi- 
tions, such importations, and thereby grow richer; if, indeed, 
which may admit of Dispute, the Desire of adorning ourselves 
with fine cloaths, possessing fine Furniture, with good Houses, 
&c., is not, by strongly inciting to Labour and Industry, 
the occasion of producing a greater Value, than is consumed 
in the Gratification of that Desire. 

The Agriculture and Fisheries of the United States are 
the great Sources of our encreasing Wealth. He that puts 
a Seed into the Earth is recompens'd, perhaps, by receiving 
twenty out of it ; and he who draws a Fish out of our Waters, 
draws up a Piece of Silver. 

Let us (and there is no Doubt but we shall) be attentive 
to these, and then the Power of Rivals, with all their restrain- 
ing and prohibiting Acts, cannot much hurt us. We are 
Sons of the Earth and Seas, and, like Antaeus, if, in wrestling 
with Hercules, we now and then receive a Fall, the Touch 
of our Parents will communicate to us fresh Strength and 
Ability to renew the contest. Be quiet and thankful. 


1800. CONTE 

IL y avoit un offitier, homme de bien, appele* Montrdsor, 
qui e"toit tres-malade; son curd, croyant qu'il alloit mourir, 
lui conseilla de faire sa paix avec Dieu, afin d'etre recu en 
Paradis. "Je n'ai pas beaucoup d 'inquietude a ce sujet," 
dit Montre'sor, "car j'ai eu, la nuit derniere, une vision qui 
m'a tout-a-fait tranquilliseV' " Quelle vision avez-vous cue ? " 
dit le bon pr&re. "J'&ois," rdpondit Montre'sor, "a la 
porte du Paradis, avec une foule de gens qui vouloient entrer. 
Et St. Pierre demandoit a chacun, de quelle religion il e*toit. 
L'un re*pondoit, 'Je suis Catholique Remain.' 'He* bien,' 
disoit St. Pierre, 'entrez, et prenez votre place la parmi les 
Catholiques.' Un autre dit, qu'il e*toit de l'6glise Anglicane. 
'He* bien,' dit St. Pierre, 'entrez, et placez-vous la parmi les 
Anglicans.' Un autre dit qu'il e"toit Quaker. 'Entrez,' 
dit St. Pierre, 'et prenez place parmi les Quakers.' Enfin, 
mon tour &ant arrivd, il me demanda de quelle religion j'&ois. 
'Helas!' r6pondis-je, ' malheureusement le pauvre Jacques 
Montr&or n'en a point.' 'C'est dommage,' dit le Saint, *je 
ne sais oU vous placer; mais entrez tou jours; vous vous 
mettrez ou vous pourrez.'" 


ALBUMAZAR, the good magician, retired in his old age to the 
top of the lofty mountain Calabut; avoided the society of 
men, but was visited nightly by genii and spirits of the first 


rank, who loved him, and amused him with their instructive 

Belubel, the strong, came one evening to see Albumazar; 
his height was seven leagues, and his wings when spread 
might overshadow a kingdom. He laid himself gently down 
between the long ridges of Elluem; the tops of the trees in 
the valley were his couch ; his head rested on Calabut as on 
a pillow, and his face shone on the tent of Albumazar. 

The magician spoke to him with rapturous piety of the wis- 
dom and goodness of the Most High; but expressed his 
wonder at the existence of evil in the world, which he said 
he could not account for by all the efforts of his reason. 

"Value not thyself, my friend," said Belubel, "on that 
quality which thou callest reason. If thou knewest its 
origin and its weakness, it would rather be matter of humilia- 

"Tell me then," said Albumazar, "what I do not know; 
inform my ignorance, and enlighten my understanding." 
"Contemplate," said Albumazar, "the scale of beings, from 
an elephant down to an oyster. Thou seest a gradual 
diminution of faculties and powers, so small in each step 
that the difference is scarce perceptible. There is no gap, 
but the gradation is complete. Men in general do not know, 
but thou knowest, that in ascending from an elephant to the 
infinitely Great, Good, and Wise, there is also a long grada- 
tion of beings, who possess powers and faculties of which 
thou canst yet have no conception." 




I ADDRESS myself to all the friends of youth, and conjure 
them to direct their compassionate regards to my unhappy 
fate, in order to remove the prejudices of which I am the vic- 
tim. There are twin sisters of us ; and the two eyes of man 
do not more resemble, nor are capable of being upon better 
terms with each other, than my sister and myself, were it not 
for the partiality of our parents, who make the most injurious 
distinctions between us. From my infancy, I have been led 
to consider my sister as a being of a more elevated rank. 
I was suffered to grow up without the least instruction, 
while nothing was spared in her education. She had masters 
to teach her writing, drawing, music, and other accomplish- 
ments ; but if by chance I touched a pencil, a pen, or a needle, 
I was bitterly rebuked; and more than once I have been 
beaten for being awkward, and wanting a graceful manner. 
It is true, my sister associated me with her upon some occa- 
sions ; but she always made a point of taking the lead, calling 
upon me only from necessity, or to figure by her side. 

But conceive not, Sirs, that my complaints are instigated 
merely by vanity. No; my uneasiness is occasioned by an 
object much more serious. It is the practice in our family, 
that the whole business of providing for its subsistence falls 
upon my sister and myself. If any indisposition should 
attack my sister, and I mention it in confidence upon this 
occasion, that she is subject to the gout, the rheumatism, 
and cramp, without making mention of other accidents, 


what would be the fate of our poor family? Must not the 
regret of our parents be excessive, at having placed so great 
a difference between sisters who are so perfectly equal? 
Alas ! we must perish from distress ; for it would not be in my 
power even to scrawl a suppliant petition for relief, having been 
obliged to employ the hand of another hi transcribing the 
request which I have now the honour to prefer to you. 

Condescend, Sirs, to make my parents sensible of the 
injustice of an exclusive tenderness, and of the necessity of 
distributing their care and affection among all their children 
equally. I am, with a profound respect, Sirs, your obedient 



DELPHIA (L. c.) 

CHARITABLE Institutions, however originally well intended 
and well executed at first for many Years, are subject to be 
hi a Course of time corrupted, mismanag'd, their Funds 
misapplied or perverted to private purposes. Would it not 
be well to guard against these by prudent Regulations respect- 
ing the Choice of Managers, and establishing the Power of 
inspecting their Conduct in some permanent Body, as the 
Monthly or Quarterly Meeting? 

Would it not be more respectable for the Institution, if the 
Appearance of making a Profit of the Labour of Orphans 
were avoided, and the Dependence for Funds to be wholly 
on charitable Contributions? If this should be concluded, 
then it may be proper to open an Account with each Orphan 


on Admission ; the Orphans to have Credit for any Subsist- 
ence brought in with them, and for the Profit made of it 
and of their Labour, and made Debtors for their Maintenance 
and Education. And at their Discharge on coming of Age, 
to be paid the Ballance, if any, in their favour, or remain 
Debtors for the ballance, if against them, which they may be 
exhorted to pay, if ever able, but not to be compell'd. Such 
as receive a Ballance may be exhorted to give back a Part in 
Charity to the Institution that has taken such kind Care of 
them, or at least to remember it favourably, if hereafter God 
should bless them with Ability, either in Benefaction while 
living, or a Legacy on Decease. The Orphans, when dis- 
charg'd, to receive, besides decent Clothing and some Money, 
a Certificate of their good Behaviour, if such it has been, as 
a Recommendation; and the Managers of the Institution 
should still consider them as their Children, so far as to coun- 
sel them in their Affairs, encourage and promote them in their 
Business, watch over and kindly admonish them when in 
danger of Misconduct. 

1804. PLAN 


THE business relative to free blacks shall be transacted by 
a committee of twenty -four persons, annually elected by ballot, 
at the meeting of this Society, 1 in the month called April; 
and, in order to perform the different services with expedition, 

1 The Society for promoting the Abolition of Slavery and the Relief of 
Free Blacks. ED. 


regularity, and energy, this committee shall resolve itself into 
the following sub-committees, viz. 

I. A Committee of Inspection, who shall superintend the 
morals, general conduct, and ordinary situation of the free 
negroes, and afford them advice and instruction, protection 
from wrongs, and other friendly offices. 

II. A Committee of Guardians, who shall place out chil- 
dren and young people with suitable persons, that they may 
(during a moderate time of apprenticeship or servitude) 
learn some trade or other business of subsistence. The 
committee may effect this partly by a persuasive influence on 
parents and the persons concerned, and partly by cooperating 
with the laws, which are, or may be, enacted for this and 
similar purposes. In forming contracts on these occasions, 
the committee shall secure to the Society, as far as may be 
practicable, the right of guardianship over the persons so 

III. A Committee of Education, who shall superintend the 
school instruction of the children and youth of the free blacks. 
They may either influence them to attend regularly the schools 
already established in this city, or form others with this 
view ; they shall, in either case, provide, that the pupils may 
receive such learning as is necessary for their future situation 
in life, and especially a deep impression of the most important 
and generally acknowledged moral and religious principles. 
They shall also procure and preserve a regular record of the 
marriages, births, and manumissions of all free blacks. 

IV. A Committee of Employ, who shall endeavour to 
procure constant employment for those free negroes who are 
able to work; as the want of this would occasion poverty, 
idleness, and many vicious habits. This committee will, 


by sedulous inquiry, be enabled to find common labour for a 
great number; they will also provide, that such as indicate 
proper talents may learn various trades, which may be done 
by prevailing upon them to bind themselves for such a term 
of years as shall compensate their masters for the expense and 
trouble of instruction and maintenance. The committee 
may attempt the institution of some useful and simple manu- 
factures, which require but little skill, and also may assist, 
in commencing business, such as appear to be qualified for it. 

Whenever the committee of inspection shall find persons 
of any particular description requiring attention, they shall 
immediately direct them to the committee of whose care they 
are the proper objects. 

In matters of a mixed nature, the committees shall confer, 
and, if necessary, act in concert. Affairs of great importance 
shall be referred to the whole committee. 

The expense, incurred by the prosecution of this plan, shall 
be defrayed by a fund, to be formed by donations or sub- 
scriptions for these particular purposes, and to be kept 
separate from the other funds of this Society. 

The committee shall make a report of their proceedings, 
and of the state of their stock, to the Society, at their quarterly 
meetings, in the months called April and October. 




DECLARATION of those RIGHTS of the Commonalty of Great 
Britain, "without which they cannot be FREE. 
It is declared, 

First, That the government of this realm, and the making 
of laws for the same, ought to be lodged in the hands of King, 
Lords of Parliament, and Representatives of the whole body 
of the freemen of this realm. 

Secondly, That every man of the commonalty (excepting 
infants, insane persons, and criminals) is, of common right, 
and by the laws of God, a freeman, and entitled to the free 
enjoyment of liberty. 

Thirdly, That liberty, or freedom, consists in having an 
actual share in the appointment of those who frame the laws, 
and who are to be the guardians of every man's life, property, 
and peace ; for the all of one man is as dear to him as the all 
of another; and the poor man has an equal right, but more 
need, to have representatives hi the legislature than the rich 

Fourthly, That they who have no voice nor vote in the 
electing of representatives, do not enjoy liberty ; but are abso- 
lutely enslaved to those who have votes, and to their repre- 
sentatives; for to be enslaved is to have governors whom 
other men have set over us, and be subject to laws made by 
the representatives of others, without having had representatives 
of our own to give consent in our behalf. 

Fifthly, That a very great majority of the commonalty of 

1 A printed paper, of which the following is a copy, was found among Dr. 
Franklin's papers, endorsed by him as above. W. T. F. 


this realm are denied the privilege of voting for representatives 
in Parliament; and, consequently, they are enslaved to a 
small number, who do now enjoy the privilege exclusively to 
themselves ; but who, it may be presumed, are far from wish- 
ing to continue in the exclusive possession of a privilege, by 
which their fellow-subjects are deprived of common right, 
of justice, of liberty; and which, if not communicated to all, 
must speedily cause the certain overthrow of our happy con- 
stitution, and enslave us all. 

And, sixthly and lastly, We also say and do assert, that it 
is the right of the commonalty of this realm to elect a new 
House of Commons once in every year, according to the 
ancient and sacred laws of the land; because, whenever a 
Parliament continues in being for a longer term, very great 
numbers of the commonalty, who have arrived at years of 
manhood since the last election, and therefore have a right to 
be actually represented in the House of Commons, are then 
unjustly deprived of that right. 



As a great part of our life is spent in sleep during which 
we have sometimes pleasant and sometimes painful dreams, 

1 Sparks printed this bagatelle and assigned it conjecturally to the year 
1772. Bigelow followed his example. While this volume was in the press, 
I found the following letter to Franklin from Miss Shipley (A. P. S.) which 
determines the date. 

" Chilbolton, Nov 13* 1786. 

"... I have particularly to thank you for " The art of procuring pleasant 


it becomes of some consequence to obtain the one kind and 
avoid the other ; for whether real or imaginary, pain is pain 
and pleasure is pleasure. If we can sleep without dreaming, 
it is well that painful dreams are avoided. If while we sleep 
we can have any pleasing dream, it is, as the French say, 
autant de gagne, so much added to the pleasure of life. 

To this end it is, in the first place, necessary to be careful 
in preserving health, by due exercise and great temperance; 
for, in sickness, the imagination is disturbed, and disagree- 
able, sometimes terrible, ideas are apt to present themselves. 
Exercise should precede meals, not immediately follow them ; 
the first promotes, the latter, unless moderate, obstructs 
digestion. If, after exercise, we feed sparingly, the digestion 
will be easy and good, the body lightsome, the temper cheer- 
ful, and all the animal functions performed agreeably. 
Sleep, when it follows, will be natural and undisturbed; 
while indolence, with full feeding, occasions nightmares and 
horrors inexpressible; we fall from precipices, are assaulted 
by wild beasts, murderers, and demons, and experience every 
variety of distress. Observe, however, that the quantities of 
food and exercise are relative things ; those who move much 
may, and indeed ought to eat more; those who use little 
exercise should eat little. In general, mankind, since the 
improvement of cookery, eat about twice as much as nature 

Dreams," indeed it flatter'd me exceedingly that you should employ so much 
of your precious time in complying with my request, but where do you read 
that Methusalah slept in the open air? I have searched the Bible in vain to 
find it. ... 

" Affectionately yours, 


Allowing for delay in crossing the ocean, and perhaps some delay in Miss 
Shipley's acknowledgment of the Ms., it would seem safe to assign the writing 
of this bagatelle to the summer of 1786. ED. 


requires. Suppers are not bad, if we have not dined; but 
restless nights naturally follow hearty suppers after full 
dinners. Indeed, as there is a difference in constitutions, 
some rest well after these meals ; it costs them only a fright- 
ful dream and an apoplexy, after which they sleep till dooms- 
day. Nothing is more common in the newspapers, than 
instances of people who, after eating a hearty supper, are 
found dead abed in the morning. 

Another means of preserving health, to be attended to, is 
the having a constant supply of fresh air in your bed-chamber. 
It has been a great mistake, the sleeping in rooms exactly 
closed, and in beds surrounded by curtains. No outward 
air that may come in to you is so unwholesome as the un- 
changed air, often breathed, of a close chamber. As boiling 
water does not grow hotter by longer boiling, if the particles 
that receive greater heat can escape ; so living bodies do not 
putrefy, if the particles, so fast as they become putrid, can 
be thrown off. Nature expels them by the pores of the skin 
and the lungs, and in a free, open air they are carried off; 
but in a close room we receive them again and again, though 
they become more and more corrupt. A number of persons 
crowded into a small room thus spoil the air in a few minutes, 
and even render it mortal, as in the Black Hole at Calcutta. 
A single person is said to spoil only a gallon of air per minute, 
and therefore requires a longer time to spoil a chamber-full ; 
but it is done, however, in proportion, and many putrid dis- 
orders hence have their origin. It is recorded of Methusalem, 
who, being the longest liver, may be supposed to have best 
preserved his health, that he slept always in the open air; 
for, when he had lived five hundred years, an angel said to 
him; "Arise, Methusalem, and build thee an house, for 


thou shalt live yet five hundred years longer." But Methu- 
salem answered, and said, " If I am to live but five hundred 
years longer, it is not worth while to build me an house; I 
will sleep in the air, as I have been used to do." Physicians, 
after having for ages contended that the sick should not be 
indulged with fresh air, have at length discovered that it 
may do them good. It is therefore to be hoped, that they 
may in time discover likewise, that it is not hurtful to those 
who are in health, and that we may be then cured of the 
aerophobia, that at present distresses weak minds, and makes 
them choose to be stifled and poisoned, rather than leave 
open the window of a bed-chamber, or put down the glass 
of a coach. 

Confined air, when saturated with perspirable matter, will 
not receive more ; and that matter must remain in our bodies, 
and occasion diseases; but it gives some previous notice of 
its being about to be hurtful, by producing certain uneasiness, 
slight indeed at first, which as with regard to the lungs is a 
trifling sensation, and to the pores of the skin a kind of 
restlessness, which is difficult to describe, and few that feel 
it know the cause of it. But we may recollect, that some- 
tunes on waking in the night, we have, if warmly covered, 
found it difficult to get asleep again. We turn often with- 
out finding repose in any position. This fidgettiness (to 
use a vulgar expression for want of a better) is occasioned 
wholly by an uneasiness in the skin, owing to the retention 
of the perspirable matter the bed-clothes having received 
their quantity, and, being saturated, refusing to take any 
more. To become sensible of this by an experiment, let a 
person keep his position in the bed, but throw off the bed- 
clothes, and suffer fresh air to approach the part uncovered 


of his body ; he will then feel that part suddenly refreshed ; 
for the air will immediately relieve the skin, by receiving, 
licking up, and carrying off, the load of perspirable matter 
that incommoded it. For every portion of cool air that ap- 
proaches the warm skin, in receiving its part of that vapour, 
receives therewith a degree of heat that rarefies and renders 
it lighter, when it will be pushed away with its burthen, by 
cooler and therefore heavier fresh air, which for a moment 
supplies its place, and then, being likewise changed and 
warmed, gives way to a succeeding quantity. This is the 
order of nature, to prevent animals being infected by their 
own perspiration. He will now be sensible of the difference 
between the part exposed to the air and that which, remain- 
ing sunk in the bed, denies the air access : for this part now 
manifests its uneasiness more distinctly by the comparison, 
and the seat of the uneasiness is more plainly perceived than 
when the whole surface of the body was affected by it. 

Here, then, is one great and general cause of unpleasing 
dreams. For when the body is uneasy, the mind will be 
disturbed by it, and disagreeable ideas of various kinds will 
in sleep be the natural consequences. The remedies, pre- 
ventive and curative, follow: 

1. By eating moderately (as before advised for health's 
sake) less perspirable matter is produced in a given time; 
hence the bed-clothes receive it longer before they are satu- 
rated, and we may therefore sleep longer before we are made 
uneasy by their refusing to receive any more. 

2. By using thinner and more porous bed-clothes, which 
will suffer the perspirable matter more easily to pass through 
them, we are less incommoded, such being longer tolerable. 

3. When you are awakened by this uneasiness, and find 


you cannot easily sleep again, get out of bed, beat up and 
turn your pillow, shake the bed-clothes well, with at least 
twenty shakes, then throw the bed open and leave it to cool ; 
in the meanwhile, continuing undrest, walk about your 
chamber till your skin has had tune to discharge its load, 
which it will do sooner as the air may be dried and colder. 
When you begin to feel the cold air unpleasant, then return 
to your bed, and you will soon fall asleep, and your sleep 
will be sweet and pleasant. All the scenes presented to your 
fancy will be too of the pleasing kind. I am often as agree- 
ably entertained with them, as by the scenery of an opera. 
If you happen to be too indolent to get out of bed, you may, 
instead of it, lift up your bed-clothes with one arm and leg, 
so as to draw in a good deal of fresh air, and by letting them 
fall force it out again. This, repeated twenty times, will so 
clear them of the perspirable matter they have imbibed, as 
to permit your sleeping well for some time afterwards. But 
this latter method is not equal to the former. 

Those who do not love trouble, and can afford to have two 
beds, will find great luxury in rising, when they wake in a hot 
bed, and going into the cool one. Such shifting of beds 
would also be of great service to persons ill of a fever, as it 
refreshes and frequently procures sleep. A very large bed, 
that will admit a removal so distant from the first situation 
as to be cool and sweet, may in a degree answer the same 

One or two observations more will conclude this little 
piece. Care must be taken, when you lie down, to dispose 
your pillow so as to suit your manner of placing your head, 
and to be perfectly easy ; then place your limbs so as not to 
bear inconveniently hard upon one another, as, for instance, 


the joints of your ankles ; for, though a bad position may at 
first give but little pain and be hardly noticed, yet a con- 
tinuance will render it less tolerable, and the uneasiness may 
come on while you are asleep, and disturb your imagina- 
tion. These are the rules of the art. But, though they will 
generally prove effectual in producing the end intended, there 
is a case in which the most punctual observance of them will 
be totally fruitless. I need not mention the case to you, my 
dear friend, but my account of the art would be imperfect 
without it. The case is, when the person who desires to have 
pleasant dreams has not taken care to preserve, what is 
necessary above all things, 


"As there is scarce any kind of Civil Knowledge more necessary or profit- 
able than History ; (which is therefore very aptly stiled by the Ancients, 
The Mistress of Life,) so of all sorts of History there is none so useful as that 
which unlocking the Cabinet, brings forth the Letters, private Instructions, 
Consultations and Negotiations of Ministers of State ; for then we see things 
in a clear light, stript of all their paints and disguisings, and discover those 
hidden Springs of Affairs, which give motion to all the vast Machines and 
stupendous Revolutions of Princes and Kingdoms, that make such a noise 
on the Theatre of the World, and amaze us with unexpected shiftings of 
Scenes and daily Vicissitudes." The Memoir es of Sir James Melvil, 1683. 



AT a certain exhibition of historical portraits Thomas 
Carlyle, it is said, was seen absorbed in the contemplation of 
a picture of Benjamin Franklin. A group of spectators, at- 
tracted by curiosity, gathered about him, to whom the sage of 
Chelsea said, as he pointed to the portrait: "There is the 
father of all the Yankees." 

It would seem that Carlyle expressed the sentiment and 
opinion of mankind; for at the present time, two hundred 
years after the birth of Franklin, the world has united in 
spontaneous and splendid celebration of his vast achieve- 
ments and matchless public service. 

His history is the story of a struggle ; it is the record of a 
life that began in humble surroundings and ended in splen- 
dour ; it contains, therefore, the substance of the tales that have 
chiefly interested the world. The story is universally known, 
for his autobiography is the most famous work of the kind in 
the English language. Every one is familiar with the inci- 
dents of his flight from Boston fugitive from the fist of a 
choleric brother how he was nearly drowned in New York 
Bay, how he walked from Perth Amboy to Burlington, fifty 
miles through ever-during rain, how he took boat at Bur- 
lington upon an October afternoon, and landed at the foot 
of Market Street in Philadelphia upon the following Sunday 
morning, how he walked the quiet streets of the sober city, 



a ridiculous figure, munching a roll, how he found shelter 
the first night in the strange city at the old Crooked Billet hi 
Water Street. The strange mutations of lif e ! This vagrant, 
adventurous lad, ragged, travel-stained, awkward, with shirts 
and stockings in his pockets and a Dutch dollar his whole 
stock of cash this humble soap-boiler's son was destined 
to become the most conspicuous and admired figure of two 
continents, to stand before kings, to converse with scholars, 
and to receive every honour that the most venerable academies 
of learning could bestow, 

" And moving up from high to higher 
Become on Fortune's crowning slope 
The pillar of a people's hope, 
The centre of a world's desire." 

His life covers so completely the occurrences of the eigh- 
teenth century, and comprehends so entirely its scientific and 
political progress that it seems impossible to confine the 
narrative within reasonable and readable limits. Fortunately 
it is unnecessary to encroach upon the province of the "Auto- 
biography." There the story of his life is told, until the year 
1757, with admirable truthfulness and thoroughness, in 
Franklin's inimitably easy and vivid way. Beyond that 
epoch many biographers have essayed to complete the narra- 
tive, but much yet remains to be done. 

I purpose, in as few words as possible, to review the events 
of his early life, and to try to complete from his literary 
remains and the discoveries of recent research the history of 
one who lived long and variously in the world, and whose life 
is the most picturesque and profitable that has yet been lived 
hi America. 

Franklin was greatly interested in his family history. It 
was not his way to value a man for his antecedents, but he 


knew the worth of genealogy, and he visited all the places where 
his ancestors had lived, and he traced his lineage with much 
time and care. He even adopted the family coat of arms 
two lions' heads, two doves, and a dolphin and with a 
decent sense of propriety in such a case he permitted his 
brother John to use it as a book plate, but he would not allow 
it to be put upon the cakes of crown soap by the making of 
which the family turned an honest penny. 

When a person in Konigsberg, Anna Sophia Susanna 
de Bohlen, ne'e Franklin, wrote to him to claim relationship, 
saying that her father, who had taken service in the Prussian 
army, was the eldest son of John Franklin, born at Wood- 
house near Abingdon, Franklin replied that he had exact 
accounts of every person of his family from 1555; and cour- 
teously added, "It would be a pleasure to me to discover a 
relation in Europe possessing the amiable sentiments ex- 
pressed in your letter, I assure you I should not disown 
the meanest." l His notes upon the family history from 
1555 to his own generation, together with his abstracts of 
church records and a pedigree chart of his own making 
have recently come into the possession of the Pennsylvania 
Historical Society. 2 

He acquired his information in the summer of 1758 when, 
after attending the Commencement ceremonies at Cambridge, 
he visited Wellingborough where he found his cousin Mary 
Fisher the wife of Richard Fisher, 8 a grazier and tanner, 

1 To Madame de Bohlen, November 21, 1781. 

a See " Franklin as a genealogist," by John W. Jordan, in The Pennsylvania 
Magazine of History and Biography, April, 1899. 

8 The Lenox Library has a letter from Benjamin Franklin (uncle) to 
R. Fisher, Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, dated "Boston, 17 March, 
1724," notifying him that about the 1 5th of November he had sent him a 
package of books by his nephew, Captain Dowse, " my brother's son-in-law." 


the only child of Thomas Franklin, his father's eldest brother. 
She was then past four score years and could recall the depar- 
ture of his father with his wife and children for America 

The ancestral home of the Franklins was at Ecton in 
Northamptonshire, three miles from Wellingborough. For 
two hundred years of authentic record, and probably for 
many forgotten generations of which the church registers 
know nothing, the Franklins had lived upon their little 
patrimonial plot of thirty freehold acres and practised the art 
of agriculture and the craft of blacksmithing. They were 
plain, sturdy, liberty-loving people who shod horses, and 
mended and greased coach wheels. Stern livers were they 
all : fearing God and fearless of man. Mary Fisher wrote to 
Franklin that though the family "never made any great 
Figure in this County, yet it did what was much better, it 
acted that Part well in which Providence had placed it and 
for 200 Years all the Descendants of it have lived with Credit, 
and are to this Day without any Blot on their Escutcheon." * 
Carlyle sent to Edward Everett "a strange old brown manu- 
script," a tithes-book of the parish of Ecton, in which are 
many notices of pecuniary transactions in which the Franklins 
were concerned. "Here they are," says Carlyle, "their 
forge-hammers yet going renting so many 'yard lands' of 
Northamptonshire church-soil keeping so many sheep, 
etc., etc., little conscious that one of the demigods was about 
to proceed out of them. I flatter myself these old plaster-cast 
representations of the very form and pressure of the primeval 
(or at least prior-evaT) Franklins will be interesting in America ; 
there is the very stamp, as it were, of the black knuckles, of 

1 Mary Fisher to Franklin, August 14, 1758. 


their hob-nailed shoes, strongly preserved to us, in hardened 
clay, and now indestructible, if we take care of it." 1 

From the Register of Ecton Church Franklin found "that 
our poor honest Family were Inhabitants of that Village near 
200 Years, as early as the Register begins." And from the 
same source, and from the gravestones from which he rubbed 
the obscuring moss, he learned, as he told his cousin, "that 
I am the youngest Son of the youngest Son of the youngest Son 
of the youngest Son for five Generations ; whereby I find that 
had there originally been any Estate in the Family none could 
have stood a worse Chance of it." 2 

At Ecton he heard the chimes play that had been erected 
by his uncle, Thomas Franklin, in the steeple of the parish 
church. He was diverted with stories of his uncle's ingenuity. 
It was said that he had found out an easy method of saving 
their village meadows from being drowned, as they used to be 
by the river, "which method is still in being, but when first 
proposed nobody could conceive how it could be ; ' but how- 
ever,' they said, 'if Franklin says he knows how to do it, it 
will be done.'" This man who was looked upon "as some- 
thing of a conjuror" died four years to a day before Franklin 
was born. "If Uncle Thomas had died," said William 
Franklin, "on the day of my father's birth one might have 
supposed a transmigration." 

1 The book was deposited by Edward Everett in the library of the Massa- 
chusetts Historical Society. Ecton was twelve miles from Sulgrave, the home 
of the Washingtons. The pink-coated huntsmen of the Washington family 
may often have stopped in Ecton to have their horses shod by the leather- 
aproned Franklins at the forge. 

a To Mary Fisher, July 31, 1758. 

Franklin acknowledged the courtesy of the Rev. Eyre Whalley, rector of 
the parish, and his wife who was a granddaughter of the famous Archdeacon 
Palmer, in helping him to a knowledge of his family history. 
VOL. x L 


Three of the brothers of this Thomas Franklin John, 
Benjamin, and Josiah removed from Ecton to Banbury 
and established themselves in the trade of dyers. Thomas 
Franklin, their father, in his old age followed his sons thither, 
and died there. Franklin found his gravestone in Banbury 
churchyard expressing that he was buried there, March 24, 

Josiah Franklin emigrated from Banbury to Boston in 1685 
with Ann, his wife, and three children, and finding little en- 
couragement to pursue his trade as a dyer, he set up in 
business as a tallow-chandler and soap-boiler at the sign of 
the Blue Ball. Four more children were born to him in 
four years in New England. His wife died in childbed 
in 1689, and he married six months later his second 
wife Abiah Folger, youngest daughter of Peter Folger, one 
of the first settlers of Nantucket. Benjamin was the tenth 
and youngest son in a family of seventeen children. He 
was born Sunday, January 6 (old style), 1706. Although 
he celebrated his birthday in later years upon the i7th 
of January, he never ceased to feel, as he said, "some 
regard for this sixth of January, as my old nominal birth- 
day." * The family home was then in Milk Street, a few 
steps from the door of Old South Church, and the child 
was carried over upon the day of its birth and baptized by 
Samuel Willard, pastor of the church and president of Har- 
vard College. 

Benjamin Franklin, the child's uncle, lonely and unfortu- 
nate, sent across the ocean occasional attempts at verse 
which were addressed to his little namesake and were read 
aloud in the family circle. The child replied in kind. Where- 

1 To Deborah Franklin, January 6, 1773. 


upon Uncle Benjamin, delighted at this infantile lisping in 
numbers, wrote: 

" Tis time for me to throw aside my pen, 
When hanging sleeves read, write, and rhyme like men, 
This forward spring foretells a plenteous crop ; 
For, if the bud bear grain, what will the top ! 
If plenty in the verdant blade appear, 
What may we not soon hope for in the ear ! 
When flowers are beautiful before they're blown, 
What rarities will afterward be shown. 
If trees good fruit un'noculated bear, 
You may be sure 'twill afterward be rare. 
If fruits are sweet before they've time to yellow, 
How luscious will they be when they are mellow ! 
If first years' shoots such noble clusters send, 
What laden boughs, Engedi-likc, may we expect in the end." 1 

A year at Boston Grammar School, and a year under a writ- 
ing master, Mr. George Brownell, 2 and Franklin's school days 
were over forever. At ten years old he was taken to help his 
father in his business. He remembered the benefits of his 
brief connection with the free grammar schools of Boston, and 
in his will acknowledged that he owed his first instructions 
in literature to them, and bequeathed to their managers or 
directors one hundred pounds sterling, the interest of which 
annually was to be laid out in silver medals and given as hon- 
orary rewards. Probably the love of books was with him 

1 These lines were written in 1713. The elder Benjamin Franklin came 
over to New England and settled in Dr. Coleman's church in Boston. Dr. 
Coleman preached his funeral sermon from the text " Mark the perfect man." 
Josiah Franklin was a member of the Rev. Dr. Sewall's church. He died De- 
cember I, 1 744, set. 89. His wife died 1752, set. 85. See " The Literary Diary 
of Ezra Stiles," by F. B. Dexter, N.Y., 1901, Vol. II, p. 375, for reminiscences 
of Jane Mecom (nee Franklin). 

2 " Advertisements. At the House of George Brownell in Second Street, 
(formerly the House of Mr. John Knight, deceas'd) is taught, Reading, Writ- 
ing, Cyphering, Dancing, Plain-work, Marking, with Variety of Needle-work. 
Where also Scholars may board." From The Pennsylvania Gazette. 


before he went to his first school, for he says that his readiness 
in learning to read must have been very early "as I do not 
remember when I could not read." His sister speaks of him 
as a Bible reader at five years old. When still very young 
reading was a confirmed habit which soon became a passion. 
He devoured the dull and profitless contents of his father's 
little library of polemic divinity. Not even the "dusty death " 
of this collection could kill his love of books. Among the 
ministerial folios was a copy of Plutarch's Lives, which he 
read with delight, and Defoe's "Essay on Projects," and 
Mather's " Essays to do Good." A few years before his death 
he wrote to the son of Cotton Mather that the reading of the 
mutilated copy of his father's little book gave him such a turn 
of thinking as to have an influence upon his conduct through- 
out life, "for I have always set a greater value on the charac- 
ter of a doer of good than on any other kind of reputation ; 
and if I have been, as you seem to think, a useful citizen, the 
public owes the advantage of it to that book." * He has de- 
scribed in his "Autobiography" the kind of books that fell 
in his way. He bought Bunyan's works and sold them to buy 
R. Burton's Historical Collections. He borrowed books 
from Mr. Matthew Adams, a tradesman, and became a 
vegetarian in order to save a little with which to buy books. 
He read attentively and intensely, with his faculties all awake. 
Books influenced him greatly. His vegetarianism was sug- 
gested by a book written by Dr. Thomas Tryon, commending 
that kind of diet. Xenophon's "Memorabilia" caused him 
to adopt the Socratic method of dispute. From Shaftesbury 
and Collins he caught the measles of scepticism. Before he 
was sixteen he had bought and studied Cocker's Arithmetic, 

1 To Samuel Mather, May 12, 1784. 


Greenwood's Grammar, the Port Royal Logic, and Locke 
on the "Human Understanding." 

With these to steady his mind, and Bunyan, Defoe, and 
Addison to excite his imagination and enrich his language, 
he had the materials for solid and efficient education. 

At the age of twelve he was apprenticed to his brother James 
who, in the next year (1719), began to print the Boston Gazette, 
the second newspaper in America. 

In seven months' time the paper changed ownership, and 
Philip Masgrave, the new proprietor, employed another printer. 
Partly in resentment and partly from a belief that there was 
room for more than one newspaper in America, James Franklin 
issued upon the yth of August, 1721, the first number of The 
New England Courant, the fourth newspaper to be published in 
the colonies. The printer promised that it should be issued 
"once a Fortnight and out of meer kindness to my Brother- 
writers I intend now and then to be (like them) very very dull ; 
for I have a strong Fancy, that unless I am sometimes flat and 
low, this paper will not be very grateful to them." The dul- 
ness and respectability of the News-Letter and the Gazette 
were impudently and mercilessly satirized. The publisher 
solicited his friends to favour him "with some short Piece, 
Serious, Sarcastick, Ludicrous, or otherways amusing; or 
sometimes professedly Dul (to accomodate some of his Ac- 
quaintance) that this Courant may be of the more universal 
Use." The older journals replied indignantly, stigmatizing 
the new venture as "frothy and fulsome," and inveighing 
against the "Ribaldry" of the "Dull cold Skul" of its 
"Undertaker." Young men of good family and good edu- 
cation, some of them students of medicine and all of them brill- 
iant, reckless, and irreverent the very Mohocks of litera- 


ture gathered about James Franklin and exhausted their 
ingenuity in the contrivance of fresh forms of mockery and 
satire. Cotton Mather had declared in favour of inoculation 
for small-pox. The young men who wrote for Couranto, 
as the new paper was popularly called, heaped their ridicule 
upon him, and aspersed the clergy. Mather replied in the 
News-Letter comparing the Courantists to the Hell-fire Club 
of London; "notwithstanding God's hand is against us" 
he wrote, "in his visitation of the small-pox, and the threaten- 
ing aspect of the wet weather, we find a notorious, scandalous 
paper, called the Courant, full freighted with nonsense, un- 
manliness, prophaneness, immorality, arrogance, calumnies, 
lies, contradictions and what not, all tending to quarrels 
and divisions, and to debauch and corrupt the minds and 
manners of New England." Increase Mather joined the 
fray and fulmined over Boston. He had seen the day when 
such "a cursed Libel" would have been suppressed by the 
Civil Authorities : " Which if it be not done I am afraid that 
some awful Judgment will come upon this Land and the 
wrath of God will arise and there will be no Remedy. I can- 
not but pity poor Franklin, who, tho' but a young Man it 
may be speedily he must appear before the Judgment Seat 
of God, and what answer will he give for printing things so 
vile and abominable?" 

The ruling powers of Massachusetts looked upon the tres- 
passes of this malicious and noisy newspaper with singularly 
tolerant and idle sight. Their patience was not exhausted 
until nearly a year after it had begun its mad career. In May, 
1722, a pirate vessel was seen off Block Island. It was re- 
solved in the House of Representatives to despatch an armed 
vessel in pursuit of her, and it was ordered that a bounty 


should be paid for every pirate killed, and that the rover's 
ship and cargo should be the property of the captors. The 
C our ant for June n, 1722, sarcastically announced in a ficti- 
tious letter from Newport, "We are advised from Boston, that 
the government of the Massachusetts are fitting out a ship, 
(the Flying Horse) to go after the pirates, to be commanded 
by Captain Peter Papillon, and 'tis thought he will sail some 
time this month, wind and weather permitting." 

The pranks of James Franklin had now become too broad 
to bear with. He was summoned before the Council, the 
offensive paragraph pronounced " a high affront to the govern- 
ment," and he was sentenced to Boston jail where he re- 
mained a month. After his release the Courant was conducted 
more boldly and outrageously than before. The Council, 
irritated beyond endurance, decided that the tendency of 
the paper was to mock religion, and to disturb the peace and 
good order of the Province. James Franklin was therefore 
strictly forbidden "to print or publish The New England Cou- 
rant, or any other pamphlet or paper of the like nature, except it 
be first supervised by the Secretary of this Province." Benjamin 
Franklin had tried his 'prentice hand in managing the paper 
during his brother's previous imprisonment. He had shown 
ability and resource. It was now decided that he should 
appear as the sole publisher. His indentures were cancelled 
and returned to him. New indentures were signed and con- 
cealed. An advertisement was inserted in the Courant of Feb- 
ruary n, 1 7 23, certifying that "the late Publisher of this Paper, 
finding so many Inconveniences would arise by his carrying 
the Manuscripts and Publick News to be supervis'd by the 
Secretary, as to render his carrying it on unprofitable, has 
intirely dropt the Undertaking." In the same issue and 


directly beneath this falsehood Benjamin Franklin printed his 
preface to the first number of the paper printed and sold in 
his name. 1 

Under the new management the paper prospered greatly. 
It did not mend its manners. It still indulged in pro- 
fane jests, and cynical scofimgs at religion. But it grew 
in public favour, and a penny was added to its price, 
and the subscription raised from ten shillings a year to 
twelve shillings. 

In the meanwhile the brothers were constantly bickering. 
James was quick-tempered, envious, and domineering ; Ben- 
jamin was self- willed, opinionated, and defiant of restraint 
and correction. Stormy scenes between them ended with 
punishment administered by the elder and more passionate. 
Benjamin would endure it no longer. He knew that his 
brother would be afraid to refer to the secret indentures. The 
cancelled ones were in his own possession. He declared 
himself free. James persuaded the Boston printers not to give 
employment to his apprentice who had treated him unfaith- 
fully and dishonestly. Benjamin sold a few of his books, 
stole secretly on board a sloop in Boston harbour, and fled to 
New York. In that city, then inhabited by seven or eight 
thousand persons, there was as yet neither book-shop nor 
newspaper. There was but one printing-office, that of Will- 
iam Bradford, the pioneer printer, who had set the first type 
in the middle colonies. He recommended Franklin to 
proceed to Philadelphia where his son Andrew Bradford 

1 " The New England Courant. N 80. From Monday February 4. to 
Monday February n. 1723. 

Boston : Printed and sold by Benjamin Franklin in Queen Street, where 
Advertisements are taken in." 

This preface is reprinted in this edition, Vol. II, p. 49. 


might give him employment, having lately lost his principal 
hand, Aquila Rose, by death. 

Philadelphia was then the chief city of the continent. It 
had been compared a few years before by Prideaux to ancient 
Babylon, and the prophecy had been ventured that if the 
whole city were " built according to the plan of William Perm 
it would be the fairest and best city in all America and not 
much behind any other in the whole world." l "M. Pen," 
said Montesquieu, " est un veritable Lycurgue." Into this 
city Franklin came upon a Sunday morning in October, 1723, 
and the following morning called upon Andrew Bradford and 
was sent on by him to another printer who had but re- 
cently set up his press in the city. Franklin found Samuel 
Keimer, the new printer, a half -crazed Anabaptist, in the act 
of setting in type an elegy upon Aquila Rose, the deceased 
journeyman. These were the verses which Franklin promised 
to print off for him as soon as he should have got the elegy 
ready : 

" What mournful accents thus accost mine ear, 
What doleful echoes hourly thus appear ! 
What sighs from melting hearts proclaim aloud 
The solemn mourning of this numerous crowd. 
In sable characters the news is read 
Our Rose is withered and our Eagle's fled 
In that our dear Aquila Rose is dead." 

For a few months Franklin continued to work for Keimer 
and to lodge with the family of Mr. Read, whose daughter 
Deborah had laughed at his ridiculous appearance the morn- 
ing he arrived in Philadelphia. He made several acquaint- 
ances, and among others he came to know William Keith, 
the governor of the Province. Keith was vain, pompous, 

1 Prideaux's "Connection," Vol. I, p. 213 (1716). 


harassed by debts, and had a weak sense of honour. He was 
lavish in promises which he had neither the ability or the in- 
tention to observe. He pleased himself in patronizing Frank- 
lin and persuaded him to go to England to choose the types 
and other furnishings of a printing-house, promising to set 
him up in business upon his return. 

He reached London (December 24, 1724) to find that he had 
been grossly deceived, and that no letters of recommendation 
or of credit had been sent to him by the governor. He was 
alone, friendless, and almost penniless. He sought employ- 
ment among the printers, and found it in Bartholomew Close. 
Here in Palmer's printing-house he set the type for Wollas- 
ton's "Religion of Nature Delineated," 1 and his scepticism 
was so much offended by its piety that he attempted to refute 
it in a pamphlet entitled "A Dissertation on Liberty and 
Necessity, Pleasure and Pain." The author of "The In- 
fallibility of Human Judgment" was pleased with the pam- 
phlet and interested in the author, and introduced him to 
a cheerful Society of free thinkers who gathered at the Horns, 
a pale ale house in an alley off Cheapside, where he made the 
acquaintance of Mandeville and Henry Pemberton. His 
days sped industriously enough in the printing-house, first 
of Palmer in Bartholomew Close, then of Watts near Lin- 
coln's Inn Fields. His nights were spent in cynical criticism 
of religion or in the company of dissolute women. Occa- 
sionally he disported upon the Thames, astonishing his asso- 
ciates with his extraordinary skill in swimming. Sir William 
Wyndham heard of his feat of swimming from Chelsea to 
Blackfriars and sent for him to teach his two sons. Upon 

1 He worked upon the second published edition, not the second printed. 
It was the edition of 1725, not of 1724. 


what small events the destinies of life may turn ! But that 
he had already accepted a clerkship under his friend Denham, 
he might have become and remained instructor in a swimming 

He sailed with Denham from Gravesend July 23, 1726, 
and landed at Philadelphia on the nth of October. The 
two travellers went in business together in Water Street, Den- 
ham as proprietor, Franklin as clerk. In February, 1727, 
just after Franklin had passed his twenty-first year, he was 
attacked by pleurisy which nearly carried him out of life. 
Mr. Denham, too, fell ill, and after a long time succumbed to 
his malady. 

With Denham's death Franklin's mercantile experience 
ceased. He accepted an offer of liberal wages from Kei- 
mer and resumed his occupation as a printer. He separated 
from Keimer to found his own printing-house, and in the 
spring of 1728, in partnership with Hugh Meredith, he began 
business at "the new printing office hi High Street, near the 
Market." * He was now at the beginning of a career in which 
by industry and frugality he was to win independence and a 
competent fortune, and to make possible his achievements in 
science and his dedication of himself to the public service. 

At this time the only newspaper published in Pennsylvania 
was the American Weekly Mercury. Franklin determined to 
start another. Unfortunately he told his plan to one who 
disclosed it to Keimer, who immediately published proposals 
for one of his own making. He called his paper The Uni- 
versal Instructor in all Arts and Sciences and Pennsylvania 
Gazette, and issued the first number December 28, 1728. 

1 Benjamin Franklin and Hugh Meredith dissolved partnership, July 14, 
1730 (not in 1729, as it is stated in the "Autobiography"). 


The Instruction was furnished by the republication in this 
diminutive sheet of Chambers's " Universal Dictionary of all 
the Arts and Sciences," beginning with the first letter of the 
alphabet. Vexed that his plan had been frustrated, Franklin 
determined to wreck his rival's enterprise. He contributed 
to the Mercury a series of able essays subscribed the "Busy- 
body." His end was speedily accomplished. The clever- 
ness and entertainment of his essays diverted newspaper 
readers from the drowsy numbers of the Universal In- 
structor, to the sprightlier columns of the Mercury. Keimer's 
credit hi business declined, and he was forced to sell his print- 
ing-house and to go to Barbadoes. His newspaper passed 
into Franklin's hands, the publication of the Busybody was 
resigned to Joseph Brientnal, and with Number 40, October 
2, 1729, shorn of the ponderous and meaningless part of its 
title, The Pennsylvania Gazette began a new existence. 
Never had so much fun, folly, wisdom, and originality been 
offered to the public. The character of the newspaper has 
already been sufficiently described. It grew rapidly in public 
favour. The publisher worked hard and in all seasons. He 
made and sold lampblack and Aleppo ink. He brought 
home in a wheelbarrow his purchases of stationery, wore the 
leathern apron and the printer's cap, and breakfasted upon 
bread and milk which he ate out of an earthen porringer with 
a pewter spoon. He vended goose quills and live goose 
feathers, and offered "likely negro wenches" for sale. At 
his shop could be purchased Bibles, Testaments, Psalters, 
gilt paper, mourning paper, memorandum books, pounce, 
spectacles, Unseed oil, and " very good chocolate." 

The next year he corrected, as he says, a great erratum 
of his life. Before going to England he had exchanged prom- 


ises of marriage with Miss Read. During his absence he had 
neglected to write to her, and she had yielded to the solicita- 
tions of her family and had become the wife of a worthless 
man who had deserted her. Franklin "took her to wife," 
September i, 1730.* No record of the marriage ceremony 
has been found, if, indeed, a formal marriage could have been 
possible when positive evidence of her husband's death was 
lacking. It appears to have been a happy marriage. She 
was illiterate, but a thrifty housewife. She bore him two 
children, Francis Folger who died in childhood, of small-pox, 
and a daughter, Sarah, from whom descend all who inherit 
the blood of Franklin. 

She accepted his illegitimate son of unknown parentage 
who became governor of New Jersey, and although, accord- 
ing to some witnesses, she gave way to occasional gusts of 
temper, 2 she reared him with her own children and with like 

1 Mrs. Read came to live with her daughter and son-in-law, and the adver- 
tisement of her trade appears as follows in successive numbers of The Penn- 
sylvania Gazette : " The Widow Read, removed from the upper End of High 
Street to the New Printing Office near the Market, continues to make and 
sell her well-known Ointment for the ITCH, with which she has cured abun- 
dance of People in and about this City for many Years past. It is always 
effectual for that purpose, and never fails to perform the Cure speedily. It 
also kills or drives away all Sorts. of Lice in once or twice using. It has no 
offensive Smell, but rather a pleasant one ; and may be used without the 
least Apprehension of Danger, even to a sucking Infant, being perfectly inno- 
cent and safe. Price 2 s. a Gallypot containing an Ounce ; which is sufficient 
to remove the most inveterate Itch, and render the Skin clear and smooth. 

" She also continues to make and sell her excellent Family Salve or Oint- 
ment, for Burns or Scalds, (Price I s. an Ounce) and several other Sorts of 
Ointments and Salves as usual. 

"At the same Place may be had Lockyer's Pills, at 3 d. a Pill." 

2 " ' Mr. Fisher there goes the greatest Villain upon Earth.' This greatly 
confounded and perplex'd me, but did not hinder her from pursuing her 
Invectives in the foulest terms I ever heard from a Gentlewoman." See 
" Diary of Daniel Fisher " (Penn. Mag. of Hist, and Biog. 1893, Vol. XVII, 
p. 156). 


care. She bore patiently her husband's long absences from 
America he was in England on public business for thirteen 
of the last seventeen years of her life, and her invincible aver- 
sion to crossing the sea stayed her at home. He complained 
occasionally of her expenses, but only after the first slight 
stroke of paralysis had affected her mind and memory. 
Others, however, who had dealings with her before that time 
complained to him of her temper and her unwillingness to pay 
her debts. A certain Sarah Broughton wrote to him (July i, 
1766) that Mrs. Franklin owed her ^31. 14. 9, an account that 
had been running for seven years, and also for a bed which she 
had for two years and now wanted to return because the 
price of feathers was fallen from three shillings fourpence to 
two shillings a pound. She said that she had written to Mrs. 
Franklin who replied "that she did not know me, and that I 
might write to you she was an hegehog. Now sir I don't 
think her a hegehog but in reallity she has shot a great many 
Quills at me, but thank Heaven none of them has or can hurt 
me as I doubt not that your known Justice will induce you to 
order the above sum of seven pounds, seven shillings payed." 
Franklin seems in his domestic life to have acted upon Poor 
Richard's advice, " Keep your eyes wide open before marriage, 
half shut afterwards," and he seems to have been quite un- 
disturbed by any of his wife's faults. "You can bear with 
your own Faults and why not a Fault in your Wife?" he would 
sometimes ask. 

At this time, too (1731), he set on foot his first project of a 
public nature, that for a subscription library. It has become 
the fashion to deny to Franklin the honour of the foundation 
of the Library Company of Philadelphia, "the mother of all 
the North American subscription libraries." His constant 


interest in its growth and welfare is everywhere apparent in 
his correspondence, both in his soliciting aid for it from his 
learned friends abroad, and his own active quest after books 
to be added to it when he was hi England. Certainly no doubt 
existed in his lifetime as to the character and extent of the 
obligation. When the foundation of a new building for the 
library was contemplated, Franklin was requested to prepare 
a suitable inscription. Mr. Richard Wells was appointed by 
the directors to confer with him, and the following corre- 
spondence took place between them. 

"Rd. Wells presents his best Respects to Dr. Franklin and 
takes the Liberty of suggesting something of the Substance of 
what he believes would give general Satisfaction. As it is 
well known to the present Inhabitants of the City how much 
they are indebted to Dr. Franklin for the first Idea as well as 
Execution of the Plan for a public Library; Rd. Wells is 
very certain it would be the general Wish to perpetuate a 
grateful Remembrance of it." (Philadelphia, August 29, 

"Dr. Franklin presents his Respects to Mr. Wells; he 
did not intend any Mention of himself hi the propos'd In- 
scription, and even wrote it at first without the Words 'chear- 
fully at the Instance of one of their Number,' but hi compli- 
ance with Mr. Wells's Idea, has added them tho' he still 
thinks it would be better without them. He cannot, 
however, but be pleased with every Mark of the Kind 
Regard of his Fellow-citizens towards him. It is his own 
being concern'd in promoting such Testimonies that he 
thinks improper; and as that drawn by Mr. Wells may 
be understood as proceeding from him, he wishes it may be 
so considered." 


Saturday P.M.August 29. 1789. 

Be it remembred 

In Honour of the Philadelphian Youth 
[then chiefly Artificers] 

They chearfully, at the Instance of one of their Number, 
Instituted the Philadelphia Library 

Which tho' small at first 
Is become highly Valuable 

and extensively useful 

And which the Walls of this Edifice 

Are now destined to Contain and Preserve 

The First Stone of whose Foundation 

was here placed 

the 3 ist Day of August 


All these activities find candid and sufficient expression in 
the first draft of the "Autobiography" written at Twyford. 
It is a life of eager industry that is revealed, characterized 
by thrift and frugality and by the practical public spirit of 
the good citizen. 

At twenty-one he had organized the Junto, a club which was 
originally called "The Leather Apron"; at twenty-two he 
was in full business career; at twenty-three he was the author 
of an important tract upon "Paper Currency," and editor of 
The Pennsylvania Gazette which at once became an influen- 
tial factor in public opinion. At twenty-five he had started 
the Philadelphia Library, and the next year was launching the 
famous series of "Poor Richard" almanacs. His ideal was 
a life of thrift, caution, husbandry, comfort, and rational 
enjoyment. He knew no sad torment of the thoughts that 
lie beyond the reaches of our souls ; he was undisturbed by the 

1 From the Stevens Collection, Library of Congress, No. 2056. Mr. John 
Boyd Thacher, of Albany, possesses a list of books in Franklin's handwriting, 
with the caption " Catalogue of the Philadelphia Library." 


burden of the mystery of the heavy and the weary weight of 
all this unintelligible world. While the New Englanders were 
contemplating with awe the dread mysteries of Eternity, he 
was minding his shop and his small concerns of earth. A 
frank acceptance of the material world and a desire to do some 
practical good in it these things were the life of Franklin. 
And so he founded benevolent and useful institutions hos- 
pitals, libraries, schools, and learned societies, invented stoves 
and lightning-rods and labour-saving devices, lighted and 
paved streets, and protected towns from fire. Such utilitarian 
subjects occupied him. He did not squander his thought in 
desperate ventures of new-found and foggy metaphysics. 

Of course his successes were won not without opposition, 
and they were not unaccompanied by jealousy and malignity. 
A tragical occurrence which took place in Philadelphia in 
1737 and in which the whole city was interested brought 
Franklin into such unpleasant notoriety that he felt it neces- 
sary to justify himself in his newspaper and to solicit the 
affidavits of his friends in his behalf. 

Dr. Evan Jones, a chemist, was found guilty of manslaugh- 
ter, having occasioned the death of his apprentice. The 
youth had expressed a desire to be initiated into the mysteries 
of freemasonry ; his master and a few friends in a spirit of 
evil pleasantry diverted themselves with obscene and blas- 
phemous jests at the youth's expense. The Mercury de- 
clared that Franklin had greatly relished the whole affair, 
and had been a participant hi the diabolical scene that ended 
in a tragedy. 

Public sentiment had been so outraged by the affair that 
Franklin immediately replied to the charge in the following 



" Some very false and scandalous Aspersions being thrown 
on me in the Mercury of Yesterday, with regard to Dr. Jones's 
Affair, I find myself obliged to set that Matter in a true light. 

" Sometime in June last, Mr. Danby, Mr. Alrihs, and myself 
were appointed by the Court of Common-Pleas, as Auditors 
to settle an Affair, between Dr. Jones and Armstrong Smith, 
then depending in said Court. We met accordingly at a 
Tavern in Market Street on the Saturday Morning before 
the Tragedy was acted in the Doctors Cellar. Dr. Jones 

appeared, and R n as his Attorney, but Smith could not 

readily be found. While we waited for Smith, in order to hear 
both Parties together; the Doctor and R n began to en- 
tertain us with an Account of some Diversion they had lately 
had with the Dr's Apprentice, who being desirous of being 
made a Free-Mason, they had persuaded him they could make 
him one, and accordingly had taught him several ridiculous 
Signs, Words and Ceremonies, of which he was very fond. 
Tis true I laugh'd (and perhaps heartily, as my Manner is) 
at the Beginning of their Relation ; but when they came to 
those circumstances of their giving him a violent Purge, 
leading him to kiss J's Posteriors, and adminstring to him 

the diabolical Oath which R n read to us, I grew indeed 

serious, as I suppose the most merry Man (not inclin'd to 
Mischief) would on such an Occasion. Nor did any one of 

the Company except the Doctor and R n themselves, 

seem in the least pleas'd with the Affair, but the contrary. 
Mr. Danby in particular said, That if they had done such 
Things in England they would be prosecuted. Mr. Alrihs, 
That he did not believe they could stand by it. And my self, 
That when the Young Man came to know how he had been 
impos'd on, he would never forgive them. But the Doctor 


and R n went on to tell us, that they design'd to have yet 

some further Diversion, on pretence of raising him to a higher 
Degree in Masonry. Re n said it was intended to intro- 
duce him blindfolded and stripp'd into a Room where the 
Company being each provided with a Rod or Switch should 
chastize him smartly ; which the Doctor oppos'd, and said he 
had a better Invention; they would have a Game of Snap- 
Dragon in a dark Cellar, where some Figures should be dress'd 
up, that by the pale Light of Burning Brandy would appear 

horrible and frighten him d bly. Soon after the Discourse 

the young Man himself coming in to speak with his Master, 
the Doctor pointed at me, and said to him, Daniel, that Gen- 
tleman is a Free-Mason; make a sign to him. Which 
whether he did or not, I cannot tell ; for I was so far from en- 
couraging him in the Delusion, or taking him by the Hand, or 
calling him Brother, and welcoming him into the Fraternity, 
as is said, that I turned my Head to avoid seeing him make 
his pretended Sign, and look'd out of the Window into the 
Garden : And all those Circumstances, with that of my desir- 
ing to have Notice that I might be present at the Snap-Dragon, 
are absolutely false and groundless. I was acquainted with 
him, and had a Respect for the young Lad's Father, and 
thought it a Pity his Son should be so impos'd upon, and there- 
fore follow'd the Lad down Stairs to the Door when he went 
out, with a Design to call him back and give a Hint of the Im- 
position ; but he was gone out of sight and I never saw him 
afterwards ; for the Monday Night following, the Affair in the 
Cellar was transacted which prov'd his Death. As to the 

Paper or Oath, I did desire R n when he had read it to 

let me see it ; and finding it a Piece of a very extraordinary 
Nature, I told him I was desirous to shew it to some of my 


Acquaintance, and so put it in my Pocket. I communicated 
it to one who mention'd it to others, and so many people 
flock'd to my House for a Sight of it, that it grew troublesome, 
and therefore when the Mayor sent for it, I was glad of the 
Opportunity to be discharg'd from it. Nor do I yet conceive 
that it was my Duty to conceal or destroy it. And being sub- 
pena'd on the Tryal as a Witness for the King, I appear'd 
and gave my Evidence fully, freely and impartially, as I 
think it becomes an honest Man to do. And I may call every 
one to whom I read that Paper, to witness, that I always 
accompanied it with Expressions of Detestation. This being 
the true State of the Case, I think I may reasonably hope, that 
I am so well known in this City, where I have liv'd near 14 
Years, as that the false and malicious Insinuation contain'd in 
the Mercury, will not do the Injury to my Reputation that 
seemed intended. 


* * * p t g. I suppose A. B. will answer for himself." 
" We whose Names are here unto subscribed, do certify, 
That we were present at the Time and Place above-mentioned, 
when Dr. Jones and J n R n related their Proceed- 
ings with Daniel R s ; and we do very well remember, 

that they were not countenanc'd or encourag'd by any Person 
Present, but the contrary. And that Benjamin Franklin in 
particular did speak against it, and did neither approve of 
what had been already done (as related by the Doctor and 

R n) nor desire to be present at what was propos'd to be 

farther done with the said Daniel R s, as is f alsly insin- 
uated in Mr. Bradford's last Mercury. And this we declare 
sincerely and freely, without any other Motive than the Desire 


of doing Justice to the Reputation of the said Benjamin 
Franklin. Witness our Hands, this i$th Day of February, 
1737, 8 


" The above-named John Danby being sworn upon the 
Holy Evangelists, and Haraianus Alrihs being duly affirmed, 
on their respective Qualifications did declare, that the Con- 
tents of the above Certificate were true. 

" Sworn and affirm'd 
Before me, this i5th 
of February 1737, 8 1 


The rivalry between Bradford and Franklin was keen and 
warm. Bradford used his office as postmaster to shut the 
Gazette out of the mails, but he did not enjoy his advantage 
long for his tardiness in rendering his accounts caused 
Colonel Spotswood, then postmaster-general, to take from him 
his commission and to confer it upon Franklin (1737). The 
Mercury sympathetically fell with the fallen fortunes of its 

In 1740 Franklin undertook to publish a monthly literary 
magazine, an enterprise of which it is curious that no mention 
is made in the "Autobiography." It was the first time that 
such a proposition had been considered in America. 

John Webbe who had written heavy, prosy articles for the 
Gazette was engaged as editor, and the terms of publication 
were agreed upon. When Webbe had learned Franklin's plan, 
he betrayed the details of it to Andrew Bradford. Directly 

1 From The Pennsylvania Gazette, February 15, 1737, 1738. 


an announcement appeared in the Mercury that upon the 
3oth of October, 1740, a magazine would appear edited 
by Webbe and published by Bradford. One week later 
Franklin announced The General Magazine and Historical 
Chronicle for All the British Plantations in America. He ex- 
plained that he had not intended to publish so soon, but that 
a person to whom he had told his scheme had betrayed it in 
the last Mercury. "This Magazine, in imitation of those in 
England, was long since projected ; a Correspondence is set- 
tled with Intelligent Men in most of the Colonies, and small 
Types are procured, for carrying it on in the best Manner. 
It would not, indeed, have been published quite so soon, were it 
not that a Person, to whom the Scheme was communicated 
in Confidence, has thought fit to advertise it in the last Mer- 
cury, without our Participation ; and, probably, with a View, 
by Starting before us, to discourage us from prosecuting our 
first Design, and reap the Advantage of it wholly to himself. 
We shall endeavour, however, by executing our Plan with 
Care, Diligence and Impartiality, and by printing the Work 
neatly and correctly, to deserve a Share of the Publick 
Favour: But we desire no Subscriptions. We shall pub- 
lish the Books at our own Expence, and risque the Sale of 
them; which Method, we suppose, will be most agreeable to 
our Readers, as they will then be at Liberty to buy only what 
they like ; and we shall be under a constant Necessity of en- 
deavouring to make every particular Pamphlet worth their 
Money. Each Magazine shall contain four Sheets, of com- 
mon sized Paper, in a small Character: Price Six Pence 
Sterling, or Nine Pence Pennsylvania Money; with con- 
siderable Allowance to Chapmen who take Quantities. To 
be printed and sold by Benjamin Franklin in Philadelphia." 


Webbe published a verbose and violent reply called "The 
Detection," which began in the Mercury of November 13. 
He charged Franklin with shutting the Mercury out of the 
post. Franklin replied with the following letter in the 
Gazette, December n, I74O. 1 

"The Publick has been entertain'd for these three Weeks 
past, with angry Papers, written expressly against me, and 
publish'd in the Mercury. The two first I utterly neglected, 
as believing that both the Facts therein stated, and the ex- 
traordinary Reasonings upon them, might be safely enough 
left to themselves, without any Animadversion; and I have 
the Satisfaction to find, that the Event has answered my 
Expectation: But the last, my Friends think 'tis necessary 
I should take some Notice of it, as it contains an Accusation 
that has at least a Shew of Probability, being printed by a Per- 
son to whom it particularly relates, who could not but know 
whether it was true or false ; and who, having still some 
Reputation to guard, it may be presum'd, could by no 
Means be prevail'd on tc publish a Thing as Truth, which 
was contrary to his own Knowledge. 

" ' Mr. Franklin (says the Writer in the Mercury) has, since 
my first Letter, hi Quality of Post-Master, taken upon him to 
deprive the Mercury of the Benefit of the Post, and will not 
permit it to travel with his Gazette which charges me with the 
most infamous Practices. His Resentment against his 
Brother Printer is altogether unreasonable; for a Printer 
should always be acquitted from being a Party to any Writing, 
when he discovers the Author, or when the Author sub- 

1 For a full account of these rival magazines, see " The Philadelphia Maga- 
zines and their Contributors, 1741-1850," by Albert H. Smyth, Philadelphia, 


scribes his Name ; except the other Knows he publishes a 
Falshood at the Time ; which cannot be supposed to be the 
Case in respect to what Mr. Bradford printed for me.' 

"It unluckily happens, that this not only may be supposed 
to be the Case but really is the Case, in respect to this very 

" But the Truth is, that 'tis now upwards of a Twelvemonth 
since I refus'd to forward Mr. Bradford's Papers free by the 
Post, in Obedience to a positive Order from the Hon. Col. 
Spotswood, then Post-Master General. 

"To prevent any Suspicion of the Reality of such an Order, 
or that I obtain'd it by some Misrepresentation of Mr. Brad- 
ford, or that it was given hastily, thro' Caprice, or without 
just Reason, I am sorry I am oblig'd to mention, That his 
Detaining the Ballance of his Accounts, and his neglecting to 
render any Account for a long time, while he held the Post- 
Office himself, as they were the Occasion of his Removal, 
so they drew upon him, after long Patience and Forbearance, 
the Resentment of the Post-Master General, express'd in 
the following Letter. 

"'Germanna, Octob. 12. 1739. 


"'The Part which your Predecessor, Mr. Andrew Bradford, 
has acted with respect to the Post-Office Accompts, is no 
longer to be borne with. The Deputy Post- Masters in Great 
Britain account every two Months with the General Post- 
Office there ; and I am obliged every half Year to have the 
Accounts of the General Post-Office in America made up. 
But I have not been able to obtain any Account from Mr. 
Bradford of the Philadelphia Office, from Midsummer 1734 


notwithstanding all the pressing Demands that the Comp- 
troller has been continually making upon him for so many 
Years past. Wherefore I now peremptorily direct, that, upon 
receipt hereof, you commence suit against him, without heark- 
ning any more to his trifling Excuses and fallacious Promises. 
If he lays any Stress on the Reputation of a Man of Truth, 
and Sincerity, he must blush upon a Trial, before his Towns- 
Men, to have his Letters produced, continually pleading Sick- 
ness, for his not sending his Accompts : Whereas, upon En- 
quiry, I am well assured, that, for these two Years past, he 
has appeared abroad in as good State of Health, as ever he 
used to be. Such an Imposition I think ought not to be passed 
over, without some Mark of my Resentment ; and therefore 
I now direct, that you no longer suffer to be carried by the 
Post any of his News-Papers, or Letters directed to him, 
without his 1 paying the Postage thereof : Which you are to 
observe, until further Orders hi that Behalf, from, Sir, 

"'Your most humble Servant, 

" Upon the receipt of this Letter it was, that I absolutely 
refus'd to forward any more of Mr. Bradford's Papers free by 
Post ; and from that time to this, he has never offered me any 
to forward. This he cannot but Know to be true. 

" I must however do Mr. Bradford the Justice, to vindicate 
him from an injurious Suspicion which I apprehend may 
arise on this Occasion, to wit, That he has impos'd that Story 
on his unhappy Writer, and misled him by a wrong Account 
of the Facts he might be ignorant of. For this, in my 

1 " The Privilege of Free-Postage was allow'd Mr. Bradford, on Condition 
of his acquitting himself fairly of the Office, and doing Justice to the Revenue." 


Opinion cannot possibly be: Inasmuch as that Person is 
thoroughly acquainted with the Affair, was employ'd as 
Attorney in the Action against Bradford, and had, at the very 
Time he was writing the Paragraph in Question, the Original 
Letter from Col. Spotswood, in his own Possession. 


Amid all controversy and against all opposition Franklin 
made his way and prospered greatly. His newspaper circu- 
lated in all the colonies. His almanac was read by many 
thousands more than had ever read an American book. The 
official printing of Pennsylvania and the adjacent provinces 
of New Jersey, Delaware, and Maryland came to his shop. 
He was employed in printing the Pennsylvanian paper money 
of which he said it was "a very profitable jobb and a great 
help to me." Isaac Decow, the surveyor-general, a shrewd, 
sagacious man, foresaw that Franklin would soon work 
Keimer "out of business and make a fortune in it in Phila- 
delphia." And this prophecy Franklin quotes with approval. 
With the disappearance of Keimer no business competitor 
remained but the old one, Bradford. When Franklin became 
postmaster, he remarks shrewdly in his "Autobiography," 
"My old competitor's newspaper declin'd proportionably, 
and I was satisfy'd without retaliating the refusal, while 
postmaster, to permit my papers being carried by the riders." 

He extended his business far into the remoter and remotest 
provinces. It might be said that he established the first of 
those commercial "trusts" which have in later years grown 
to such towering and menacing proportions. It was his 
practice to set up a young journeyman in business, supplying 
him with presses, types, books, and all the necessary equip- 


ment of a printing-house, pay one-third of the expenses and 
exact one-third of the profits. In this manner he started 
Thomas Whitemarsch 1 and Peter Timothy 2 in South Carolina, 
Smith and Benjamin Mecom in Antigua, James Parker* 
in New York, Hall and Miller at Lancaster, Dunlap and 
Hall in Philadelphia, his brother in Rhode Island, Samuel 
Holland, at Lancaster, Pa., 4 William Daniell in Kingston, 
Jamaica, and yet others in New Haven and Georgia. 

While his fortunes grew, his habits of life changed but little. 
He looked disapprovingly upon innovations of luxury, 5 denied 
himself and his family comforts to which they were well 
entitled, and went clothed from head to foot in garments of 
his wife's making. 

In 1748 he withdrew from partnership with David Hall, 
and fancied that he was about to enjoy leisurely the fruits of 
his industry. It was the year of the peace of Aix-la-Chapelle, 
and every prospect for the country and for the world looked 
fair. "The approaching Peace," Franklin wrote to Peter 
Collinson [October 18, 1748], "gives us a Prospect of being 
more at Ease in our Minds." 

1 Thomas Whitemarsh founded the South Carolina Gazette in 1732. 
Franklin notes in his journal, Whitemarsh "arrived in Charlestown 29* of 
Sept. 1731 at night, so our Partnership there begins October i, 1731." 

2 Peter Timothy was the son of Lewis Timothy, or Timothee, a French 
refugee. He published the South Carolina Gazette. He was lost at sea. 
The paper was carried on by his son, Benjamin Franklin Timothy (1792- 

8 Articles of Agreement signed February 20, 1741. 

4 Samuel Holland and Benjamin Franklin signed an agreement, June 14, 
1753. Franklin was to let Holland have a printing-press and types ; Hol- 
land was to keep them in good order and to pay 20 a year in four instal- 

6 " The eyes of other people are the eyes that ruin us." Franklin to 
Vaughan, July 26, 1784. 



IT seemed possible for Franklin now to devote himself to 
scientific pursuits and for his son to exchange for the peaceful 
occupation of trade the boisterous career of a soldier. He 
wrote to Mr. Strahan that it would not be necessary for him 
to send the copy of Polybius which had been ordered of him : 
" It was intended for my Son who was then in the Army and 
seemed bent on a military Life, but as Peace cuts off his Pros- 
pect of Advancement in that Way he will apply himself to other 
Business." But he was not to enjoy the leisure he had hoped 
and worked for. The public laid hold of him for their pur- 
poses. In his own words, " The governor put me into the 
commission of the peace ; the corporation of the city chose 
me of the common council and soon after an alderman ; and 
the citizens at large chose me a burgess to represent them 
in Assembly." 

In May, 1751, he learned that Elliot Benger, deputy post- 
master-general of America, residing in Virginia, was thought 
to be dying. Immediately he set his friends to work to secure 
for him the reversion of the office. Mr. Allen, the Chief 
Justice, wrote letters to England recommending him and em- 
powering one of his correspondents to offer 300 in perqui- 
sites and contingent fees and charges for the office. Frank- 
lin wrote promptly to Peter Collinson saying, "If you can 
without much inconvenience to yourself advise and assist in 
endeavouring to secure the Success of this Application you 
will whatever may be the Event add greatly to the Obligations 
you have already conferr'd on me, and if it succeeds I hope that 


as my Power of doing Good increases my Inclination will 
always at least keep pace with it. I am quite a Stranger to 
the Manner of Managing these Applications so can offer no 
particular Instructions." 

Elliot Benger died in the summer of 1753, and on the icth 
of August following, the Postmasters- General appointed 
"Mr. Benjamin Franklin of Philadelphia, hi Pennsylvania, 
and Mr. William Hunter of Williamsburg in Virginia, their 
Deputy Postmaster and Manager of all his Majesty's Prov- 
inces and Dominions on the Continent of North America 
in the stead of Elliot Benger Esq. deceased, to commence this 
day at an allowance or salary of 600 per annum." 

It was the first occasion in the history of the office that 
two postmasters were appointed. The salary was raised 
from 200 to j6oo, but it was to be paid out of "the money 
arising from the postage of letters passing and re-passing 
through the said Provinces and Dominions of North America." 
Franklin's first official act was to appoint his son controller 
of the post-office. The postmastership of Philadelphia he 
gave first to his son, then to Joseph Read, one of his wife's 
relatives, then to his own brother. Indeed, there were few 
of the Franklins, Reads, and Folgers who did not profit by 
their thrifty and energetic kinsman's zeal for the public 
service. He looked after them all : brothers, and cousins, 
and nephews, and brothers-in-law drew salutary incomes 
from public offices. It may be true that Franklin, as he 
says, never debated the question of salary, but it is quite 
evident that he had a wary eye for the incidental income 
arising from office, and was industrious in filling the choicer 
seats with members of his own family. With his private corre- 
spondence before us in which with rather indecent haste he 


urges upon his friends in England and America to use all 
their influence to secure the deputy postmastership for 
him while the incumbent of that office lay dying in Virginia, 
it is impossible for us to accept his often-repeated assertion 
that he had never in his life asked for any public office. In 
fact, the student of Franklin must, with however much reluc- 
tance, come to the conclusion that was expressed by some 
wicked wag who said that Franklin so loved truth that he was 
rather sparing in the use of it. 

The appointment to the postmastership marks the period 
when Franklin began his continental experience. Until this 
time he had been the thrifty business man and public-spirited 
citizen of Philadelphia. Now he was to become the American 
unrestricted by the petty prejudices and boundaries of small 
provinces. He was the first to transcend colonial limitations. 
He went abroad over the country and took the wind of all its 
moods. In his first tour of inspection he visited every post- 
office except Charleston, infusing new vigour into the entire 
system. He increased the mail service between New York and 
Philadelphia from once a week in summer and twice a month 
in winter to three times a week in summer and once a week in 
winter. He made the conveying of newspapers a source of 
revenue, by compelling his post-riders to take all newspapers 
offered them instead of those only that were issued by the 
postmasters, a privilege which he said he regarded as unjust 
and injurious. For four years he laboured at the improve- 
ment of the service and without reward. At the end of that 
time Franklin and Hunter found a deficit of 943. 16. i. 

From August 10, 1753, to August 10, 1756, the receipts 
amounted to 938. 16. 10, while the disbursements were 
given at ^1617. 4. o, showing a deficit of 678. 7. 2. 


From August 10, 1756, to August 10, 1757, the receipts were 
^1151. 10. n, and the disbursements were ^1416. 19. 10, 
showing a further deficit of ^265. 8. n. 

Soon after this the improvements and the watchful intelli- 
gence of Franklin began to tell, and for the next three years, 
ending in August, 1760, the surplus was ^1221. 7. 6. The 
receipts and disbursements being 3368. 18. 6 and ^2147. 
ii. o, respectively. In the following year (1761) there was a 
balance of 216. 13. 3, the receipts at 981. 10. 3 again 
exceeding the expenses at 764. 17. o. 

Thus after eight years' work Franklin had the satisfaction 
of settling his accounts with the Postmasters-General by 
remitting ^494. 4. 8. The official record of this act pre- 
served in the General Post Office of London reads, "The 
Deputy Postmasters have already obeyed the Post Master 
General by remitting 494. 4. 8, in full payment of their 
Balance up to the loth of August 1761, and this is the first 
remittance ever made of the kind" 

Franklin and Hunter had not long had control when war 
broke out. There was then no regular packet service. The 
Secretary of State, Sir Thomas Robinson, issued an order on 
the Postmasters-General to establish as early as possible a 
service of packet-boats to sail direct between Falmouth 
(England) and New York, and to employ sufficient vessels 
to maintain a regular service. The order was issued late in 
September, 1755, and the Postmasters-General (Lord Leicester 
and Sir Everard Fawkener) immediately complied with the 
instructions, and in a little over a month, on the 5th of No- 
vember, had concluded contracts for four vessels, of about 
two hundred tons each, to carry a crew of thirty men, with six 
carriage guns mounted and four swivel guns. The pay was 


700 for each voyage out and home the time for the 
double voyage being estimated at four months. The first 
packet service thus inaugurated was maintained by the 
packet-ships, Earl of Halifax, Earl of Leicester, General Wall, 
and Harriot. 

At the conclusion of the treaty of Paris, February 10, 1763, 
by which Canada and Florida were ceded to England, a 
group of British merchants, supported by Governor- General 
Murray, urged the establishment of a regular post between 
New York and Quebec. The Postmasters- General impressed 
upon Franklin and Foxcroft (who had been appointed in 
Hunter's place, October 2, 1761), "that they cannot exert 
themselves on any subject which will do them greater service 
than rendering the intercourse of letters every day more and 
more safe, expeditious and frequent to their fellow-subjects." 
Franklin and Foxcroft undertook a survey of the post routes 
already in existence. Their journey occupied them for several 
months. They travelled sixteen hundred miles, and sub- 
mitted their report to London early in 1764, accompanying 
the written statement with maps which unfortunately are no 
longer in existence. 

By this time the excellent management of the Post-office 
was producing unexpected results. From August 10, 1761, 
to the beginning of 1764 the receipts were 3818. o. 5! . The 
disbursements were 1747. 8. 2^, leaving a surplus of 2070. 
12. 3^. The Postmasters-General, surprised at the remit- 
tances, recommended the proposals of their deputies in 
America to the Lords of the Treasury, saying that "the 
Posts in America are under the management of persons of 
acknowledged ability." 

In the "Commission Book, 1759-1854" (p. 53), belong- 


ing to the General Post Office, London, may be seen the 
renewal of Franklin's commission: 

"Know ye, that we, the said William Earl of Bessborough 
and Thomas, Lord Grantham, reposing especial Trust and 
Confidence in Benjamin Franklin of Philadelphia and John 
Foxcroft, of New York, Esquires and having received good 
Testimony of their Fidelity and Loyalty to his Majesty, and 
of their Ability and Sufficiency to manage and better regulate 
the Posts on the Continent of North America, and of their 
Inclination and Capacity to improve and advance His 
Majesty's Revenues therein, do, by these Presents nominate, 
depute, constitute, authorize and appoint them, the said Ben- 
jamin Franklin and John Foxcroft and the survivor of them, 
our Deputy Postmasters and Managers of the Posts in all His 
Majesty's Provinces and Dominions on the said Continent 
of North America, except North Carolina, South Carolina, 
Georgia, East Florida, West Florida, the Bahama Islands, and 
their Dependencies to have, hold, exercise and enjoy the said 
office with all other Powers, Privileges, Profits, Advantages 
and Authorities thereunto belonging unto them the said 
Benjamin Franklin and John Foxcroft and the survivor of 
them, from the day of the date hereof, for and during the 
term of three years, or till they receive a new Commission 
from us, or till this present Commission be superseded." 
Signed Sept. 25, 1765, Bessborough and Grantham. 

At the time that this commission was issued, Franklin was 
in England and occupied with the affairs of the Stamp Act. 
He continued to discharge his duties as agent in London for 
Georgia, New Jersey, and Massachusetts, and delegated the 
function of postmaster to Foxcroft, his associate in that office. 
That this absentee administration of his office was not satis- 



factory to his superiors in England is evident from the follow- 
ing letter preserved in the General Post Office : 

June 4, 1768 

Lord Sandwich signified lately to the Duke of Grafton that 
if there were no good reasons for suffering Mr. Franklin one 
of the Deputy Postmasters General of North America remain- 
ing here, the Postmasters General were of opinion he ought, 
after some years absence, to return thither to his Duty and 
having by the last Packet Boat received a Letter from his 
Colleague Mr. Foxcroft of which the inclosed is a Copy makes 
it necessary to request His Grace's Pleasure thereupon. I 
am Sir, etc. 

ANTH. TODD, sec'y 

Franklin continued to reside in England, and after his 
examination before the Privy Council on the petition of the 
Massachusetts Assembly for the removal of Governor Hutchin- 
son, he was dismissed from office, January 31, 1774. At this 
time the American post-office was yielding three times as 
much clear revenue to the crown as that of Ireland. Some 
bitterness of feeling entered into Franklin's letter to Thomas 
Gushing (February 15, 1774) announcing his dismissal : "I re- 
ceived a written notice from the secretary of the general post- 
office, that his Majesty's postmaster general found it necessary 
to dismiss me from my office of deputy post-master general 
in North America. The expression was well chosen, for in 
truth they were under a necessity of doing it ; it was not their 
own inclination ; they had no fault to find with my conduct in 
the office ; they knew my merit in it, and that if it was now an 


office of value it had become such chiefly through my care 
and good management ; that it was worth nothing when given 
to me ; it would not then pay the salary allowed me, and unless 
it did I was not to expect it ; and that it now produces near 
three thousand pounds a year clear to the treasury here. 
They had beside a personal regard for me. But as the post- 
offices in all the principal towns are growing daily more and 
more valuable by the increase of correspondence, the officers 
being paid commissions instead of salaries, the ministers 
seem to intend, by directing me to be displaced on this occa- 
sion, to hold out to them all an example, that if they are not 
corrupted by their office to promote the measures of adminis- 
tration, though against the interests and rights of the colonies, 
they must not expect to be continued." 

He continued to correspond with the General Post Office 
with regard to his accounts. His last letter was dated March 
24, 1776. It was not until 1783 that the Post-office replied 
to this seven-year-old letter. I copy this epistolary curiosity 
from the "American Letter Book, 1773-1783" (General 
Post Office, London). 

June 25, 1783 

I must confess I have taken a long time to acknowledge 
the last letter you were pleased to write me the 24th of March 
1776 from New York. 

I am happy however to learn from my nephew Mr. George 
Maddison that you enjoy good Health and that as the French 
were about to establish five Packet Boats at L'Orient for the 
purpose of a monthly Correspondence between that Post and 
New York you were desirous of knowing the Intentions of 
England on that subject. I am going out of Town for a 


few days and do not write to you quite officially at present but 
I can venture to assure you it is the wish of His Majesty's 
Post Master General to continue the Communication with 
New York by the Packet Boats and that the Mails should be 
dispatched both to and from that place the first Wednesday 
in every Month as at present and to Appoint an Agent to 
reside at New York for the Management of the Business there. 
If this should meet your Ideas very little Regulation will be 
necessary for carrying on the Correspondence with the United 
States after New York has been evacuated, as the Packet 
Postage of one shilling for single Letters and so in proportion, 
as settled by Act of Parliament must be continued, but I 
do not know how far it might be of advantage to both Coun- 
tries to leave it, as at present, to the Option of the writer to pay 
or not the Postage beforehand and keep accounts on both 
sides of the internal Postage up to London and to New York 
and therefore I should be glad to be favoured with your Senti- 
ments fully upon this Point, or upon any other, not doubting 
from my long experience of your candour and abilities, 
that everything will be easily adjusted to the reciprocal 
advantage of both countries. I am dear sir, with the greatest 
Truth and Respect, your most obedient and most humble 



Of Franklin's career in the Assembly, his part in the 

1 An understanding of the rapid growth in the business of the Post-office may 
be obtained by comparing with the figures quoted for 1 753-1 764 the following 
statement of account for 1 768-1 769. " Income of Post Office of Northern 
Department of North America as per Benjamin Franklin and John Foxcroft ; 
From Oct. 2. 1768 to March 4, 1769, ^3285. 10. 6. To charges of managing 
Post Office, as per Benjamin Franklin and John Foxcroft to October 2, 1 769 
1426. n. 10." 


making and the adoption of the Albany Plan of Union, 
his persistent criticism of the Proprietors, and his generous 
and effectual aid of Braddock and his army, sufficient 
has already been said elsewhere in this work. (Vol. I, 
pp. 152-163.) 

His zeal and expedition hi obtaining one hundred and fifty 
wagons and two hundred and fifty-nine pack-horses for 
Braddock won the warm approval of right-minded persons 
upon both sides of the sea. 

The Assembly of Pennsylvania gave him a unanimous 
vote of thanks, and General Braddock reported to the Secre- 
tary of State (June 5, 1755) that Franklin's prompt action was 
"almost the only instance of address and fidelity which I 
have seen in all these provinces." Franklin's sense of the 
gravity of the situation had led him to put in peril his entire 
fortune. He not only advanced for the expenses of the army 
thirteen hundred pounds of his own money, but he also gave 
bonds for the safe return of twenty thousand pounds' worth 
of horses and wagons. Fortunately Braddock returned a 
few days before the battle an order on the paymaster for the 
round sum of one thousand pounds, leaving the remainder to 
the next account. "I consider this payment as good luck," 
said Franklin, "having never been able to obtain that re- 

The owners of the wagons and horses came upon him for 
the valuation which he had given bond to pay. To pay 
claims, amounting to twenty thousand pounds, would have 
ruined him. After a considerable time General Shirley 
appointed commissioners to examine the claims and to order 
payment. At the same time (September 17, 1755) he wrote 
from Oswego personally to thank Franklin for his great 


public service and to express his regret that payment had not 
previously been made. 1 

When the tidings of the disaster to Braddock reached 
Philadelphia, Franklin was at once consulted by the governor. 
His advice was that Colonel Dunbar commanding the sad 
remnant of the defeated army should post his troops on the 
frontier and check pursuit until reinforcements could be 
raised in the colonies. In the midst of the alarm and des- 
peration of the hour the old party feud of the Proprietaries 
and the Assembly stood unchanged and uncompromising. 
"The shocking news of the strange, unprecedented, and 
ignominious defeat of General Braddock had no more effect," 
said William Franklin, "upon Governor Morris than the 
miracles of Moses had on the heart of Pharaoh." The Assem- 
bly voted large sums, but decreed that all estates, real and 
personal, were to be taxed, "those of the proprietaries not, 
excepted." The governor substituted only for not. No 
concession would be made by either party. While this 
weary, ineffectual wrangling continued during the months of 
July, August, September, and October, the undefended 
province was being harried and plundered. Families 
were scalped and murdered, not only on the frontier, 
but in villages less than a hundred miles from Philadelphia. 

1 Colonel Henry Bouquet, a British officer who had played a conspicuous part 
in the French and Indian Wars, and who was on terms of intimate friendship 
with Washington, wrote to Franklin (August 22, 1764) : " I know that General 
Shirley owed to you the considerable supply of Provisions this Government 
voted for his Troops, besides warm Cloathing, etc. That you alone could and 
did procure to General Braddock the carriages without which he could 
not have proceeded on his Expedition, That you had a Road opened thro' 
this Province to supply more easily his Army with Provisions, and spent a 
Summer in these different Services without any other Reward than the Satis- 
faction of serving the Public." 


Fearful at last that their estates might be forfeited, the Pro- 
prietaries ordered five thousand pounds to be added to any 
sum that the Assembly might vote for the purpose of defence. 
Thereupon the Assembly voted in November sixty thousand 
pounds and exempted, but with formal protest, the proprietary 
estates, and appointed Franklin one of seven commissioners 
for expending it. Franklin devoted himself with energy to 
persuading the factions to lay aside their controversies and to 
arm in the defence of the colony. (See "Dialogue of X, 
Y, and Z," Vol. I, p. 162.) 

Robert Hunter Morris, Lieutenant Governor and com- 
mander-in-chief of the Province of Pennsylvania and counties 
of Newcastle, Kent, and Sussex, on Delaware, issued to him 
the following commission: "I do hereby authorize and em- 
power you to take into your charge the county of Northamp- 
ton, to dismiss all persons who have been commissioned by 
me to any military command and to put others into their 
places; and to fill up the blank commissions herewith de- 
livered, with the names of such persons as you shall judge fit 
for his Majesty's service ; hereby ratifying all your acts and 
proceedings done in virtue of this power ; and approving the 
expenses accruing thereupon. And I do further order and 
enjoin all officers and soldiers to yield obedience to you in the 
execution of this power, and all magistrates, sheriffs, and 
others in any kind of civil authority, and all his Majesty's 
liege subjects, to be aiding and assisting you in the premises. 
Given under my hand and seal, at Reading, this 5th day of 
January 1756." 

Invested with this authority, Franklin took charge of the 
Northwestern frontier, raised troops, and erected block- 
houses. January the fifteenth he started with Captain Foulke 


and forty-seven men to march to Gnadenhiitten, beyond the 
mountains, to establish a fort there. For three days they 
proceeded with great order and regularity through a continued 
scene of horror and destruction: "Where lately flourished a 
happy and peaceful village, is now all silent and desolate ; the 
Houses burnt, the Inhabitants butchered in the most shock- 
ing manner, their mangled Bodies for want of Funerals ex- 
pos'd to Birds and Beasts of Prey, and all Kinds of Mis- 
chief perpetrated that wanton Cruelty can invent. We have 
omitted nothing since our Arrival that can contribute to the 
Happiness and Security of the Country in general. Mr. 
Franklin will at least deserve a Statue for his Prudence, Jus- 
tice, Humanity, and above all for his Patience." l 

The fort which they built at this place of massacre they 
named Fort Allen. It stood where the town of Wiessport 
now stands, in Carbon County, on the Lehigh River, about 
ten miles above Lehigh Gap. 

For almost a month Franklin remained in this savage 
region, building forts and hunting Indians. He returned 
when the new Assembly met (February, 1756), and forthwith 
found his time consumed by the old and changeless quarrel. 
" I find, " he wrote to his sister, " the more I seek for leisure and 
retirement from business, the more I am engaged in it." 

The governor offered him a general's commission if he 
would undertake the reduction of Fort Duquesne. He 
declined, but accepted an appointment as "Colonel of a 
regiment of foot militia formed in, and called the Regiment 
of the city of Philadelphia." (February 24, 1756.) 

Affairs were disheartening and well-nigh desperate. 

1 Letter by Thomas Lloyd, dated at Gnadenhiitten, January 31, 1756 (in 
The American Philosophical Society). 


Oswego surrendered to the French, and the New England 
army collected at Lake George was so wasted by disease and 
desertion as to be of little strength or value. Hundreds of 
lives had been lost, farms were destroyed, and nearly 100,000 
expended. The treasury was empty, the expenses excessive, 
and a vast frontier to be defended. Franklin believed 
that the cheapest and most effectual defence would be an 
expedition by sea against Quebec. But none agreed with him. 
Fresh taxes were laid upon wine and liquors, but the governor, 
jealously guarding the Perm estate, refused to consent to it. 
In the last week of October, Franklin was ordered to attend the 
new governor, William Denny, 1 at Easton, in Northampton 
county, on a treaty with the Delaware Indians. William 
Logan and Richard Peters, on the part of the Council, and 
Joseph Fox, William Masters, and John Hughes, as delegates 
from the Assembly, were the other commissioners who met 
in conference at the Forks of the Delaware upon November 
the eighth, with Teedyuscung, king of the Dela wares. The 
Indians complained of injuries from the proprietor, and 
Franklin writing to Collinson gave his impression of the 
charges: "It is said by many here that the Dela wares were 
grossly abused in the Walking Purchase; that they have 
frequently complain'd, and their Complaints were suppress'd 
or conceal'd, and the 6 Nations set on their Backs to make 
them quiet. That they have remembered these things, and, 
now, by the Connivance of the 6 Nations, as 'tis thought, 
and supported by the French, they have taken Revenge." 
The governor laid before the Assembly an estimate of the 

1 Morris ceased to be governor, August 19, 1756, and Captain Denny ruled 
in his stead. " Change of devils, according to the Scotch proverb, is blithe- 
some," said William Franklin, when he heard the news. 


necessary expense for defending the province one year, 
amounting to 12 5,000. The Assembly deducted the least 
necessary articles, granted 100,000 and sent the bill to the 
governor, "Not that we thought this Province capable of 
paying such a Tax yearly, or anything near it, but believing 
it necessary to exert ourselves at this time in an extraordinary 
Manner, to save the Country from total Ruin by the Enemy." l 
The governor rejected the bill. Three-fourths of the troops 
must be disbanded, and the country exposed to the mercy 
of the enemy "rather than the least tittle of a Proprietary 
Instruction should be deviated from!" 

The Assembly resolved to send home a remonstrance, 
and appointed Isaac Norris, the Speaker of the House, and 
Benjamin Franklin to go to England "as Commissioners to 
solicit the removal of grievances occasioned by proprietary 
instructions," etc. Norris declined to serve. It was then 
resolved "that Benjamin Franklin be and he is hereby 
appointed Agent of this Province, to solicit and transact the 
Affairs thereof in Great Britain." (February 3, 1757.) 

We are about to enter upon a new epoch of Franklin's life, 
and in taking leave of the old it may be worth while to print 
the record of his six years of service in the General Assembly. 
This historical document exists, in Franklin's handwriting, 
in the Library of Congress. 

1 Franklin to Robert Charles, February I, 1757. 



Aug. 13. Takes his seat in Assembly. Put on a Committee 
to prepare a Bill, same day. 

Aug. 15. Sent up with a Message to Gov* J' H 

Aug. 17. On a Comm" to prepare an answer to Gov* 

Aug. 20. Reports on the subject of a Bridge over Skuylkill. 

Aug. 22. Reports on the subject of Indian Expences. 
Seven Resolutions N. C. D., of his Drawing, 
upon that Report. Appointed on a Committee 
to draw an address to the Bonrick [mutilated] 
ing in pursuance of those Resolves. 

Aug. 23. Reported the same. 

Aug. 24. It was approved but not put on the Minutes. 

Oct. 14. Return'd a Member for Philada. 
Sent on a Message to the Gov. 

Oct. 15. On the Committee of Ace* 1 , and Comm** of 
Grievances, and Comm** to revise the Minutes. 

Oct. 16. On Committee of Correspondence. 


Feb. 3. On a Message to the Governor. 

Feb. 7. On Comm** to inspect Accts. 

Feb. 8. On D to consider a Petition of Bakers. 

Feb. 17. On D for examining the laws relating to fees. 

Feb. 24. On D for a Bill relating to Dogs. 

March 6. On D to answer a Message. 

March n. On D to see the Great Seal affixed to laws. 


On D to inquire into the State of our Paper 
Currency, Trade, Numbers of People, etc. 

Aug. 13. On a Message to the Gov* with the Bill of Fees. 

Aug. 20. On a Committee for Conference with the Gov 1 

on that Bill. 

Makes report in writing on the State of Currency 

Aug. 21. Ordered to meet some of the Council, etc. 

Aug. 22. On a Message to Governor. 

Oct. 14. Return'd a Member for Philad*. 
Sent on a Message to the Gov*. 

Oct. 17. Appointed on 4 Committees, viz., Grievances, 
Revisal of Minutes [and ?] Accounts, Corre- 
spondence, Laws, [mutilated] [wi] th the 
Speaker to procure Books and Maps. . . . 
Committee to bring in a Bill . . . the Gov* 
on the Navy Bill . . . Committee [pre]pare 
a Message ... of the Com 6 * of Grievances. 

May 30. On a Committee to consider the Representation 

to the Proprietaries of 1751. And the answer 


On D to prepare an Answer to Gov* Message. 
Sept. i. On a Committee to consider Gov* propos'd 

Amend mto to a Money Bill. 
Sept. 4. On a Committee to answer the Governrs 

Sept. 7. On D to report on a Message from the Gov r . 

175 [mutilated] 
Sept. 15. Return'd again for Philad". 



Sent on a Message to the Gov*. 
Sept. 16. Appointed on 4 Committees, viz. Correspondence, 

Grievances, Accts, Revisal of Minutes. 
Sept. 17. On two more Committees, viz., To inspect the 

laws; and the State of Trade, Currency, etc. 


Feb. 5. Reports thereupon. 

Feb. 14. Translates a French Letter to Gov* Dinwiddie. 

Feb. 15. Reports on the Laws. 

Feb. 26. On a Committee for Indian Trade. 

March 5. On D for considering a Petition for laying out 


On D for bringing in a Bill respecting the hold- 
ing of Courts. 

March 6. On D to consider the Western Bounds. 

March 7. Reports on D. 

April 5. On a Committee to bring in a Money Bill. 

April 8. Gov r appoints him a Commissioner for the Albany 

April 12. Approved by the Assembly. 

April 13. On a Committee to inquire into the facts of a 

April 15. On D to answer a Message from the Gov*. 

April 18. A number of Resolves drawn up by him and 
agreed to. 

Aug. 9. On a Committee to bring in a Money Bill. 

Oct. 14. Return'd for Philad". 

Oct. 15. Appointed on Committees of Grievances, and 
Revisal of Minutes, and Correspondence. 

Dec. 31. Representation to the Proprietaries, draw [muti- 


lated] . . . Aug* 3 ... put on the Votes 

... 5 [mutilated] 

March 17. Takes his seat in ... house. 
March 18. On a Committee to answer . . . and d . . . the 


March 20. On a Comm*' to answer an ... Message. 

Lays before the house . . . rec'd from the Gov*. 
March 22. On a Comm" to bring hi a bill relating to pro- 
visions exported. 
Requested to consider of establishing a Post for 

General Braddock. 

April i. Memorial from Josiah Quincy drawn by him. 
April 2. Sundry Orders of his proposing and drawing to 

supply N. England with provisions, etc. 
April 9. Gives his proposal to the House about the post 

which was agreed to. 
May 12. Receives the thanks of the House for his great 

Services hi his late journey to the back country, 

May 14. On a Committee to prepare a state of the Bills. 

On D to prepare a Message to the Gov 1 . 
May 16. On D to answer another Message, and he draws 

the answer. 
June 13. Communicates to the House the letters of thanks 

he had received from Gen. Sir Peter Halkes 

and Col. Dunbar. 

June 14. On a Comm ee to answer a Message of the Gov*. 
June 17. On D to prepare a Bill. 
June 17. On D to prepare another Bill. 


June 24. On D to answer a Message. 

July 28. On D to D. 

July 29. On D to prepare a Bill for granting ^50,000 to 

the King's use. 
Sent with it to the Gov r . 

Aug. 5. On D to answer his Message of Amendments. 
Aug. 6. On D to answer a Message and draws it a 

long one. 
On D for a Bill to provide Quarters for the King's 


Aug. 13. On -D to answer a long Message. 
Aug. 21. On D to answer a Message. 
Aug. 22. To dispose of money for the defence of the 

Sept. 15. On D to prepare a Bill for regulating Inspectors. 

Sept. 19. Requested by the House to endeavour to prevail 

with Col. Dunbar to discharge servants and 


On a Committee to answer a Message. 
Produces to the House a letter to himself from 

T. Hutchison, which induces the grant of 

ji 0,000 to Massachusetts. 
Sept. 17. Retum'd for Philad'. 

Sent with verbal Message to Gov*. 

On 4 Committees : Correspondence, Grievances, 

Minutes, Laws. 

On D to bring in a Money Bill ^60,000. 
On D to prepare Bill for supplying our Indians. 
On D to answer a Message. 
Nov. 10. On a Co. [mutilated] answer a Message. 


Nov. 13. On D [mutilated] . . . sides two applications 

to the House from Quakers and from the Mayor 

of Philad a . etc. 

Nov. 17. On D to answer a Message. 
Nov. 19. B. . . . Leave . . . brings in a Militia Bill. 

On a Committee to answer a Message. 
Nov. 20. On a Committee to amend the Militia Bill. 
Nov. 22. On D to consider Gov message. 
Nov. 25. On D to bring in a Money Bill exempting the 

Proprie 7 . Estate in consideration of their gift 

of 5,000. 

Nov. 29. On D to answer a message. 
Dec. 3. On D to answer a message. 

Feb. I still on the Frontiers building forts. 

Feb. 7. On Comm ee to prepare an Address to Gov* 
respecting the enlistment of Servants and draws 
Feb. 19. Lays before the house letters to him from Gen. 


On a Comm ee to answer a Message. 
March 3. Brings in a Bill by leave of the House to Regulate 

soldiers, etc. 

March 5. Watch and Lamp Bill brought in. 
March 10. On Committee to amend Soldiers' Bill. 
March 13. Moves the House again on this Bill. 

On Comm ee for that purpose. 
March 17. Sent with the Bill to the Gov 1 . 

Goes to Virginia. 
May 12. On Comm ee to answer a Message. 


June 2. On D to D. 

July 22. Then at N. York, charg'd with an address to 

Gen 1 Shirley, going to England. 

Aug. 17. On Comm ee to bring hi a Bill granting 40,000. 
Aug. 20. W. M. Denny, Gov r . 

Aug. 21. On Comm ee to prepare address to the Governor. 
Aug. 30. On D to prepare Answers to Govrs. Speech and 


Sept. i. On a Message to the Governor. 
Sept. 3. Draws a long Paper of Remarks on Prop 7 In- 
Sept. 8. Appointed a Commissioner in the Act . . . 

Sept. 13. On a Comm ' to prepare reasons in answer . . . 

to the Bill. 
Sept. 16. Draws Resolutions relating . . . 

On Cornm** to prepare a new B. . . . D to 

D . . . up with the 30,000 Bi . . . 
Oct. 14. Return'd for Philada. 
Oct. 18. Order on 3 Committees: Correspondence, 

Grievances, Minutes. 
Oct. 21. On D for preparing a Bill to regulate the hire 

of carriages. 

Oct. 22. On D for D Billeting of soldiers. 
Oct. 26. On D to confer with Gov r about Indians. 
Oct. 27. With leave brings hi a Bill to regulate forces of 

this Province. 
Oct. 28. As President of the Hospital lays before the House 

the Ace 4 * thereof. 

On a Committee to prepare another Militia Bill. 
Oct. 29. On D to answer Gov* Message. 



Nov. 5. On D to compare Bills. 

On D to accompany the Governor to treat with 
Indians [at] Easton. 

Nov. 23. On D to prepare a Message to the Gov r . 

Dec. 2. On D to examine Journals of House of Com- 
mons concerning Elections. 

Dec. 3. Reports on the same. 

Dec. 8. On a Comm ee to prepare answer to Govr's Message. 

Dec. 16. On D to D Message concerning Quarters. 

Dec. 18. On D to D. 

Dec. 19. On D to confer with the Gov*. 

Dec. 22. On D to answer a message abt Quarters. 

Dec. 24. On D to prepare a Bill for granting 100,000 
by Tax. 


Jan. ii. On D to prepare a Bill to relieve Inn-Keepers. 

Jan. 24. On D to prepare a Bill to strike a sum of Pap. 

Jan. 28. On D to wait on the Gov r with a Message. 

Jan. 29. Reports concerning the Treaty at Easton. 
Is nominated to go to England. 

Feb. i. On a Committee to prepare a new Bill for grant- 
ing 100,000. 

Feb. 3. Accepts the appointment to England. 
Appointed Agent. 

Feb. 7. On a Comm ee to answer a Message. 

Feb. 12. On D to D. 

March 22. Gov* agrees to pass the Bill for 100,000. This 
was after B. F.'s conference with him and L d 



Feb. 21. Proprietaries' message to the Assembly repre- 
senting Mr. F. as not a person of Candour, etc. 
His heads of Complaint. 
Answer thereto by Paris. 

... 27. Supply ... B ... for 100,000 Taxing the 
P'y Estate passe . . . [mutilated] by Gov . . . 
Return* . . . Philada . . . 


Oct. 14. Retd for Philada. 

Oct. 15. Continu'd Agent with R. Charles. 

Oct. 18. Governor Hamilton refuses to certify the Assem- 
bly's appointment of Franklin and Charles 
as Agents, etc. 

The Assembly order a Certificate from a Notary 
and appoint a Committee to consider the 
Govr's refusal, etc. And order the Grant of 

the Crown to be receiv'd by B. F. and 

lodg'd in the Bank in several names. 


Sept. 19. Bills ordered to be drawn on B. F. for the 
amount of the Parliamentary Grant. 


May 6. Several letters of different dates received from 

Sept. 21. D . . . informing that he had taken his pas- 
sage, and left the affairs of the Province with 
Mr. Jackson. 


Oct. 15. Return'd again, as in all the preceding years, a 
member from Philada. 


Jan. 10. In the House again, and on a Committee. 
Jan. 12. On another. 
Jan. 14. On another and another. 
Jan. 1 8. Engagement of B. F. and R. C. recited. 
Jan. 21. On a Committee to prepare a Bill. 
Jan. 28. On a D for another Bill and another. 
Feb. 8. On a Committee for another Bill. 
Feb. 19. Report on his Accounts and thanks order'd. 
March 4. Balance of his Acct. order'd to be paid 

^2214. 10. o. 

March 29. On a Committee for a Bill. 
March 31. Thanks given him by the Speaker in ... 

form, and answer . . . 
Apr. P. [mutilated] On a Comm . . . etc. to ansr . . . 

propose . . . Bill. 



FRANKLIN'S "Autobiography " ends with his arrival in Lon- 
don, July 26, 1757. For twenty-seven years he had lived 
happily with his wife and little family in Philadelphia ; the 
next twenty-eight years, with the exception of two brief 
visits to America, were destined to be spent in Europe. 
He recommended his daughter to her mother "with a 


father's tenderest concern," and accompanied by his son 
and attended by a company of friends rode away across 
New Jersey. 

A long and tedious delay in New York waiting upon the 
dilatory Lord Loudon was followed by a thirty days' sail 
across the Atlantic, a narrow escape from shipwreck upon 
the Cornish coast, and a safe anchorage in Falmouth 

Peter Collinson was eagerly awaiting him in London. 
James Ralph, who had started a newspaper, the Protestor, 
to help the Duke of Bedford against the Duke of Newcastle, 
called to renew a friendship that had been interrupted for 
thirty years. Men of science hastened to make acquaintance 
with the philosopher whose name was mentioned with respect 
in every part of Europe. He had an assured position and 
was already a member of influential societies. He had been 
elected to the Royal Society, and only a few weeks before 
leaving home had received from Collinson the agreeable in- 
formation of that honour. It followed close upon the an- 
nouncement by William Shipley that he had been elected to the 
Premium Society, or Society for the Encouragement of Arts, 
Manufactures and Commerce, now known as the Society of 
Arts. 1 Franklin's "Plan for promoting useful knowledge 
among the British Plantations in America" had interested 
Shipley, who hoped to see Great Britain and the Colonies 
"mutually dear and serviceable to each other." He wrote 
to Franklin, September 30, 1755, inviting him to join the 
Society. Franklin replied in the following letter for which I 
am indebted to Mr. H. B. Wheatley, secretary of the Society 
of Arts. 

1 William Shipley's letter is dated September i, 1756 (A. P. S.). 


Philad* Nov. 27, 1755. 

I have just received your very obliging Favour of the i3th 
September last ; and as this Ship sails immediately have little 
more time than to thank you cordially for communicating to 
me the Papers relating to your most laudable undertaking, 
and to assure you that I should esteem the being admitted 
into such a Society as a corresponding Member a very great 
Honour, which I should be glad I could in the least deserve, 
by promoting in any Degree so useful an Institution. But 
tho' you do not require your Correspondents to bear any Part 
of your Expence, you will I hope permit me to throw my Mite 
into your Fund, and accept of 20 guineas I purpose to send 
you shortly to be apply'd in Premiums for some Improve- 
ment in Britain, as a grateful, tho' small, Return for your 
most kind and generous Intentions of Encouraging Improve- 
ments in America. I flatter myself from that part of your 
Plan, that those jealousies of her Colonies, which were 
formerly entertained by the Mother Country, begin to sub- 
side. I once wrote a little Paper tending to show that such 
Jealousies with Regard to Manufactures were ill-founded. 
It was lately printed in Boston at the End of a Pamphlet 
which I take the liberty to send you. Never be discouraged 
by any Apprehension that Arts are come to such Perfection 
in England as to be incapable of farther Improvement. 
As yet, the quantity of Human Knowledge bears no Propor- 
tion to the Quantity of Human Ignorance. The Improve- 
ments made within these 2000 years, considerable as they are, 
would have been much more so if the Ancients had possessed 
one or two Arts now in common Use. I mean those of Copper 
Plate= and Letter=Printing. Whatever is now exactly 


delineated and described by those, can scarcely (from the 
Multitude of Copies) be lost to Posterity. And the knowledge 
of small Matters being preserv'd gives the Hint, and is some- 
times the Occasion of Great Discoveries, perhaps Ages after. 

The French War, which came on in 1744, took off our 
Thoughts from the Prosecution of my Proposal for Promot- 
ing useful Knowledge in America ; and I have ever since the 
Peace been so engag'd in other Schemes of various kinds and 
in publick affairs, as not to find Leisure to revive that useful 
and very practical Project. But if I live to see our present 
Disturbances over hi this Part of the World, I shall apply 
myself to it with fresh Spirit, as beside the good that may be 
done, I hope to make myself thereby a more valuable Corre- 

You will greatly oblige me by the Communication of the 
Inventions and Improvements you mention. And as it is a 
Maxim in Commerce, That there is no Trade without Re- 
turns, I shall be always endeavouring to ballance Accounts 
with you, tho' probably never able to accomplish it. 

I am, Sir 

Your most obedient 
humble servant, B. FRANKLIN. 


He was gratified and elated by the recognition of his 
scientific achievements, but he was not unmindful of the 
associations of an earlier day of humbler things. He went to 
the old printing-house in Lincoln's Inn Fields and sought 
out the men who worked upon the press at which he had 
stood in his young manhood, and treated them to a gallon of 
beer which they drank to the toast "Success to Printing." 


He took lodgings at No. 7, Craven Street, Strand. 
His landlady, Mrs. Margaret Stevenson, became one of his 
dearest friends. To her daughter, afterward the wife of the 
famous surgeon Dr. Thomas Hewson, he wrote some of the 
most interesting letters of his life. He instructed her in 
science and advised her in all her difficulties. With Mrs. 
Stevenson the affectionate intimacy continued until her death 
a quarter of a century after their first acquaintance. Upon 
the last letter that he received from her, dated July 24, 1782, 
he wrote : "This good woman, my dear Friend, died the first 
of January following. She was about my age." l 

In the Craven Street house he lived in much comfort, 
occupying four rooms and waited upon by his man-servant 
and William Franklin's negro attendant. His son was soon 
entered at the Middle Temple, and Franklin was free to 
devote himself to the business of the Assembly. He made 
slow progress. The Proprietors quibbled and evaded, and 
placed every obstruction in his way that legal ingenuity could 
contrive. He changed his tactics; ceasing to visit the Pro- 
prietaries, he attempted to win the favour of the Lords of 
Trade and the members of the King's Council, and to com- 
bat certain prejudices that existed in the minds of English- 
men concerning the colonists. It may have been in conse- 
quence of advice of this kind given by Mr. Charles, a lawyer 
retained by the Assembly, that, in 1759, a voluminous work 
appeared, entitled "An Historical Review of the Constitution 
and Government of Pennsylvania, from its Origin." It was 
published anonymously, but suspicion was immediately 
directed to Franklin as its author. He sent five hundred 
copies of it to David Hall for distribution in Pennsylvania, 

1 Letter in University of Pennsylvania. 


and twenty-five copies to his nephew, Mecom, in Boston, 
and the same number to James Parker, his former Partner, 
in New York. 

While the volume was silently influencing the public 
opinion of England, Franklin was enjoying something like 
leisure. He resumed scientific studies and continued his 
correspondence with the learned men of Europe. Fresh 
recognition of his contributions to science came to him from 
Scotland, when in February, 1759, the University of St. 
Andrews conferred upon him the honorary degree by virtue 
of which he was ever after known as Dr. Franklin. In the 
records of the Senatus Academicus of that University occurs 
this entry : 

" 12, Feb. 1759 

" Conferred the Degree of Doctor hi Laws on Mr. Benjamin 
Franklin, famous for his writings on Electricity, and appoint 
his diploma to be given to him gratis, the Clerk and Arch- 
beadle's dues to be paid by the Library Quaestor." l 

- \.c\ r \'S n'l -' IM f ''i ni M>Llr 

In the late summer of 1759 he journeyed to Scotland, and 
for the first time visited Edinburgh: "that garret of the 
earth that knuckle-end of England that land of Calvin, 
oat cakes and sulphur," as Sydney Smith described it. Great 
honour was done him. The Universities entertained him, 
and the corporation of Edinburgh conferred upon him the 
freedom of the city. He was invited to the great houses of 
the country. Hume, Robertson, Lord Kames, and Sir 

1 In the library of the University are still to be seen two books presented 
by Dr. Franklin: one is "New Experiments and Observations," 1754, "Dono 
dedit Auctor " ; the other, " Experiments and Observations," 1 769, " Ex dono 
Auctoris." The first volume of Transactions of The American Philosophical 
Society, presented by Franklin, May 19, 1773, 1 am told, cannot now be traced 
in the library. 


Alexander Dick were particularly prominent in their hospi- 
tality. He was delighted with his entertainment and de- 
clared to Lord Kames that he had spent in Scotland "six 
weeks of the densest 1 happiness I have met with in any part 
of my life." After completing a tour of fifteen hundred miles, 
ending with a ramble through Yorkshire and Lincolnshire he 
wrote to Sir Alexander Dick : " No part of our Journey affords 
us, on Recollection, a more pleasing Remembrance than that 
which relates to Scotland, particularly the time we so agreably 
spent with you, your Friends & Family. The many Civilities, 
Favours and Kindnesses heap'd upon us while we were 
among you, have made the most lasting Impression on our 
Minds, and have endear'd that Country to us beyond Ex- 

Unfortunately, very slight record remains of the social 
entertainments and conversation of that visit. Alexander 
Carlyle notes in his Autobiography that he and his friend, 
Dr. Wight, met "the celebrated Dr. Franklin" at Dr. 
Robertson's house in Fxlinburgh in September, 1759. "Dr. 
Franklin had his son with him; and besides Wight and me 
there were David Hume, Dr. Cullen, Adam Smith, and two 
or three more. . . . Franklin's son was open and communi- 
cative, and pleased the company better than his father, and 
some of us observed indications of that decided difference of 
opinion between father and son which in the American war 
alienated them altogether." * 

Could it have been Franklin's notable dislike for con- 

1 Sydney Smith, dwelling " amid odious-smells, barbarous sounds, bad sup- 
pers, excellent hearts and most enlightened understandings," would surely 
have cut a caper had he happened upon this felicitous and subtly descriptive 

* Carlyle, " Autobiography," p. 320. Boston edition, 1861. 


troversy that held him silent in the company of these native 
metaphysicians, born to argument and bred in polemics? 
Disputation is the business of lawyers, and the habit of men 
of all sorts who have been educated at the University of 
Edinburgh, said Franklin. 

The younger Franklin, "a born courtier" as his father 
said of him, seems to have made upon all those who met 
him socially an impression similar to that described by 
Carlyle. To Strahan he appeared "one of the prettiest 
young gentlemen" he ever knew from America, "He 
seems to me to have a solidity of judgment, not very often to 
be met with in one of his years." More than a half century 
later Crabbe Robinson met him at the Society of the Attic 
Chest. No one had a more expert eye for the good points 
and the social defects of a man than Crabbe Robinson, and 
he entered in his Diary, "Old General Franklin, son of the 
celebrated Benjamin was of the party. He is eighty-four 
years of age, has a courtier-like mien and must have been a 
very fine man. He is now very animated and interesting, 
but does not at all answer to the idea one would naturally 
form of the son of the great Franklin." * 

It is repeated in nearly every account of Franklin's life, 
that he received a degree from the University of Edinburgh. 
It is an error. He was admitted as a " Surges and Gildbrother 
of Edinburgh" (September 5, 1759), anc ^ ne was an original 

1 Crabbe Robinson, "Diary," I, p. 242. Boston, 1898. 

The Society of the Attic Chest was a small society, the members of which 
sent verses which were put in a box and furnished an evening's amusement. 
The box was actually made in Athens. The date of this meeting was 
March 18, 1812. Franklin died in November of the following year. 

After leaving Edinburgh, Dr. Franklin travelled to Dunkeld, Perth, and St. 
Andrews in company with John Anderson, Professor of Natural Philosophy at 


Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and of 
the Philosophical Society which was absorbed in the Royal 
Society at the date of its foundation in 1782, but he received 
no academic honours from the University. It is not a little 
singular that it should be so. At the time of Franklin's first 
visit Dr. Robertson, the head of the University, was the 
centre of the literary and social life of the city. He enter- 
tained for Franklin feelings of the highest respect, and in 
later years came into the closer relations of friendship with 
him. Franklin occasionally recommended American scholars 
as worthy candidates for the honorary degree. Ezra Stiles's 
diploma of Doctor of Divinity was procured from Edinburgh 
University in 1765 through Franklin's exertions. He success- 
fully recommended Professor Winthrop, the Hollisian Pro- 
fessor of Harvard, after he had been rejected by Oxford be- 
cause he was a Dissenter. In the Literary Diary of Ezra Stiles 
under the date December 4, 1772, occurs the entry, " Finished 
reading Mr. Marchant's Travels and Memoirs in six books 
Mss. Dr. Benjamin Franklin was with Mr. Marchant at 
Edinburgh, and politely offered to recommend him to the 
University of Edinburgh for the degree of Doctorate in 
Laws; but he declined it." 1 
Among the Franklin papers in The American Philo- 

1 "The Literary Diary of Ezra Stiles, D.D., LL.D.," by F. B. Dexter, N.Y. 
1901, Vol. I, p. 304. Dr. Stiles proceeds to quote from Mr. Marchant's manu- 
script thus: "Monday November 4, 1771 [returned to Edinburgh] Dr. Frank- 
lin came in to see me, and by a most open disengaged Frankness in his 
conversation afforded me much pleasure. And made me a most genteel 
Tender of honourably recommending me to the Edinburgh University." A 
further entry under date of November 20, 1771, states, "Dined at Dr. Fergu- 
son's, Professor of Moral Philosophy, in company with D. Hume, Dr. Frank- 
lin, Dr. Black, and Dr. Russel [Professor of Natural Philosophy], and next 
day Dr. Franklin took leave and departed for London." 


sophical Society is the following letter to Franklin from 
Dr. Robertson: 

College of Edin bro 


I was favoured with your letter of the 26th recommending 
Mr. Rogers of New York to a degree in Divinity. I hope 
that I need not say that every request from you, has with 
me the authority of a command, because I am sure you will 
recommend no person who is not entitled to that mark of our 
respect which you sollicit for him. On this occasion I have 
not the entire merit of confiding in your testimony. Mr. 
Rogers's character was known to some Gentlemen here and 
their account of him fully confirms every thing that you have 
said in his favour. The degree of D.D. is accordingly con- 
ferred upon him. His diploma is ordered to be made out, 
and shall be sent by the first person I can find to take charge 
of it. I have drawn upon you by this post for 12. 7. 6. I 
have time to add no more as the post is going but that I am 
with great respect and attachment, Dear Sir, 

Your most faithfull humble Servant 

The highest literary honour ever conferred upon Franklin 
was the honorary degree of Doctor of Civil Laws from the 
University of Oxford. In the records of the University is 
found the following note : 

" Feb. 22, 1762 Agreed, nem con. at a meeting of the 
Heads of Houses that Mr. Franklin whenever he shall please 
to visit the University shall be offer'd the Compliment of the 
Degree of D.C.L. Honoris causa. 

"J. BROWNE Vice can." 


At the convocation of April 30, 1762, he was admitted a 
D.C.L. In the indisposition or absence of the Regius Pro- 
fessor of Civil Law, Thomas Jenner, D.C.L., Franklin was 
duly introduced by the Deputy, William Seward. As an 
additional compliment his son was presented by the Public 
Orator for the honorary M.A. The notable and interesting 
fact of father and son receiving the higher and lower degrees 
together, Dr. Murray thinks is "almost without parallel in 
the history of Oxford." * The lover of academic Latin will 
pardon me for quoting at this point the record of the ceremony 
taken from a certified copy made by the Keeper of the 

" Paschatis Dno Dre Browne Vice Cancellario 


" Die Ven. viz Tricesimo Die Mensis Aprilis Anno Dom. 
1762 Causa Convocationis erat ut Ornatissimus Vir Ben- 
jaminus Franklin Armiger, Provinciae Pensylvaniae Deputa- 
tus, ad Curiam Serenissimi Regis Legatus, Tabellariorum 
per Americam Septentrionalem Praefectus Generalis, necnon 
Regiae Societatis Socius (si ita Venerabili Ccetui placeret) ad 
Gradum Doctoris hi Jure Civili, et Gulielmus Franklin 
Armiger Juris Municipals Consultus ad Gradum Magistri 
in Artibus admitterentur, necnon, &c. &c. [the usual clause 
to admit of any other business]. Causa Convocationis sic 
indicta, proponente singillatim Domino Vice -Cancellario, 
placuit VenerabiU Ccetui ut praedictus Ornatissimus Vir 

1 " Franklin's Oxford Degree," by J. A. H. Murray, The Nation, Novem- 
ber 19, 1903. 

The fullest information about Franklin's honorary degrees is to be found 
in " Historic Side-lights," E. P. Arnold. 


Benjaminus Franklin Armiger ad Gradum Doctoris in Jure 
Civili, et Gulielmus Franklin Armiger ad Gradum Magistri 
in Artibus, Honoris Causa admitterentur. 

" Spectatissimum Virum Benjaminum Franklin Armigerum 
praeeuntibus Bedellis in Domum Convocations ingressum 
Dextraque prehensum Dnus Df Seward Collegii Divi Joannis 
Baptistae Socius sub eleganti Orationis Formula Dno Vice- 
Cancellario et Procuratoribus praesentabat ut ad Gradum 
Doctoris in Jure Civili Honoris Causa admitteretur. Quem- 
que hoc modo praesentatum Dnus Vice-Cancellarius sua et 
totius Universitatis authoritate ad dictum Gradum Honoris 
Causa solemniter admisit. 

" Ornatissimum Juvenem Gulielmum Franklin Armigerum 
a Th6ma Nowel A.M. Collegii Orielensis Socio et Publico 
Oratore similiter praesentatum Dnus Vice Cancellarius ad 
Gradum Magistri in Artibus similiter admisit." l 

An echo of the proprietary feud was heard even among the 
quiet quadrangles of Oxford. Dr. William Smith had es- 
poused the cause of the Proprietors, and, being in England 
soliciting aid for the college in Philadelphia, took occasion to 
vilify Franklin upon every opportunity. "I made that man 
my enemy," said Franklin, " by doing him too much kindness. 
'Tis the honestest way of acquiring an Enemy." Some of his 
slander Smith distilled in a letter to Dr. Fry, the President of 

1 In July, 1753, he received the honorary Master of Arts from Harvard 
College, and at the September Commencement of the same year he received the 
diploma of the same degree from Yale. Ezra Stiles notes in his Diary (III, 
391) that "We. [Yale College] from 1749 and onward adopted with avidity 
and before all the rest of the learned world his electrical and philosophical 
Discoveries. In 1755 I made a gratulatory oration to him in the College 
Hall, celebrating his philosophic discoveries and congrats his Honours from 
the Republic of Letters." William and Mary conferred upon him the degree 
Master of Arts, April 2, 1756. 


St. John's College. But the letter coming to the notice of 
Dr. Kelly occasioned the following correspondence : 


Oxford, Feb. u, 1763 


D* Smith was lately here collecting for his Academy, and 
having been questioned concerning a letter He promised to 
write to the President of St. John's in the presence of M r 
Strahan & other Gentlemen, (which letter was to retract the 
imputations of a former letter against D r Franklin), He 
denied the whole, & even treated the question as a Calumny. 
I make no other comment on this behaviour, than in con- 
sidering him extremely unworthy of the Honour, he has 
received, from our University. 

When you write to D r Franklin pray convey my best 
respects to him & to the Governour of new Jersey. 

I beg my most sincere Compliments to Mrs. Strahan, and 
am, D r Sir, etc. J. KELLY. 

William Strahan replied : "As to Dr. Smith, True it is that 
Dr. Franklin and he met at my House and in my Presence 
read over his letter to D! Fry, Paragraph by Paragraph, 
when D! Smith acknowledged that it contained many Par- 
ticulars in which he had been misled by wrong Information, 
and that the whole was written with too much rancor and 
Asperity; but that he would write to the Df contradicting 
what was false in it. I proposed his doing this without 
delay, as there was no Difficulty in his pointing out what 
was true or false in his letter ; and that the more explicitely 
and candidly he performed this Task, the better Opinion D' 
Fry must form of his own Honesty. He nevertheless declined 


doing it then, but promised to call on me in a day or two, 
and shew me the Letter before he sent it ; which however, he 
has never yet thought fit to do." 

Midway between his Scotch and English honours, or in 
the summer of 1761, Franklin crossed to Holland and made 
a tour of the low countries. He returned to London in Sep- 
tember to witness the coronation of George III. It is in- 
teresting to recall the loyal enthusiasm with which he re- 
garded the young king. When William Strahan wrote to 
him expressing melancholy apprehensions of the future, 
Franklin replied : "Let me remind you that I have sometimes 
been in the right in such cases when you happen'd to be in 
the wrong; as I can prove upon you out of this very letter 
of yours. Call to mind your former fears for the King of 
Prussia, and remember my telling you that the man's abilities 
were more than equal to all the force of his enemies, and that 
he would finally extricate himself and triumph. . . . You 
now fear for our virtuous young king, that the factions form- 
ing will overpower him and render his reign uncomfortable. 
On the contrary, I am of Opinion that his virtue and the 
consciousness of his sincere intentions to make his people 
happy will give him firmness and steadiness in his Measures 
and in the support of the honest friends he has chosen to 
serve him ; and when that firmness is fully perceived, faction 
will dissolve and be dissipated like a morning fog before the 
rising sun, leaving the rest of the day clear, with a sky serene 
and cloudless. Such, after a few of the first years, will be 
the future course of his Majesty's reign, which I predict will 
be happy and truly glorious." 

The great accomplishments of England in India and in 
America excited Franklin's imagination. Visions of the vast 



future of the British Empire trailed their glories before him. 
Clive in India and Wolfe in Canada convinced him that 
the peace and the prosperity of the world rested with Great 
Britain. He was naturally an imperialist, and he welcomed 
every extension of the might and majesty of his country. He 
wrote to Lord Kames : " No one can more sincerely rejoice 
than I do, on the reduction of Canada ; and this is not merely 
as I am a colonist, but as I am a Briton. I have long been 
of opinion that the foundations of the future grandeur and 
stability of the British Empire lie in America; and though, 
like other foundations, they are low and little now, they are, 
nevertheless, broad and strong enough to support the greatest 
political structure that human wisdom ever yet erected. I 
am therefore by no means for restoring Canada. If we 
keep it, all the country from the St. Lawrence to the Missis- 
sippi will in another century be filled with British people. 
Britain itself will become vastly more populous, by the im- 
mense increase of its commerce; the Atlantic sea will be 
covered with your trading ships; and your naval power, 
thence continually increasing, will extend your influence 
round the whole globe, and awe the world ! If the French 
remain in Canada they will continually harass our colonies 
by the Indians and impede if not prevent their growth ; your 
progress to greatness will at best be slow, and give room for 
many accidents that may forever prevent it. But I refrain, 
for I see you begin to think my notions extravagant, and 
look upon them as the ravings of a mad prophet." l A 
"mad prophet" indeed Franklin must have seemed to those 
politicians who in 1760 advocated the giving up of Canada, 
and "mad" his doctrines must have appeared to those states- 

1 To Lord Kames, January 3, 1760. 


men a hundred years later who declared the colonies to be 
mill-stones about the neck of England. But his ideas as 
set forth in "The Interest of Great Britain considered with 
regard to her Colonies," a pamphlet which brought about 
the retention of Canada, fructifying the mind of Cobden 
and inspiring the thought of Molesworth, have triumphed in 
the glorious fabric of the imperial connection of greater 
Britain resting upon its firm foundation of colonial democ- 
racies as Franklin foresaw and defined them. 

The notions of those critics who believed that Canada was 
too large to be peopled by England, that it was not worth 
possessing, and that the possession of it would draw on Eng- 
land the envy of other powers, Franklin was "every day 
and every hour combating" 1 and with the satisfaction of 
knowing that he could flatter himself that his presence in 
England was "of some service to the general interest of 
America." 2 

In June, 1760, after three years of litigation, Franklin 
brought to a close the controversy with the proprietors, who 
at last recognized the right of taxing the proprietary estates. 
Two years longer he remained in England advocating the 
annexation of Canada to the Empire.* 

About the end of August, 1762, he departed for America 
in company with ten sail of merchant ships under the convoy 
of a man-of-war. "The weather was so favourable that 
there were few days in which we could not visit from ship to 
ship, dining with each other and on board of the man-of- 
war; which made the time pass agreeably, much more so than 

1 To John Hughes, January 7, 1760. 

2 Ibid. 

8 See " On disposing an Enemy to Peace," Vol. IV, p. 90. 


when one goes in a single ship; for this was like travelling 
in a moving village, with all one's neighbours about 
one." 1 

On the ist of November he arrived in Philadelphia. His 
son William, a few days before sailing, had been named gov- 
ernor of New Jersey, and the ministry and the friends of the 
Proprietaries believed that Franklin would be consequently 
less active in opposition. Thomas Penn wrote to Governor 
Hamilton, "I am told you will find Mr. Franklin more 
tractable, and I believe we shall, in matters of prerogative; 
as his son must obey instructions, and what he is ordered to 
do the father cannot well oppose in Pennsylvania." 2 

The son arrived in February, 1763, with his wife, "a very 
agreeable West India lady" by the name of Downes, and 
was accompanied by Franklin to his government. The 
latter had been chosen yearly during his absence in Eng- 
land to represent the city of Philadelphia in the As- 
sembly. He now submitted to that body a statement of 
his expenses : 

"Philadelphia, Feb. 9, 1763. 

"SiR: It is now six years since, in obedience to the order 
of the House, I undertook a voyage to England, to take care 
of their affairs there. 

" Fifteen hundred pounds of the publick money was at dif- 
ferent times put into my hands, for which I ought to account, 

1 To Lord Kames, June 2, 1765. 

2 The appointment of William Franklin was made by Lord Halifax upon 
the solicitation of the Earl of Bute. Upon the afternoon of September 2 
the London Chronicle published the following paragraph : " This morning was 
married at St. George's Church, Hanover Square, William Franklin, Esq., 
the new appointed Governor of New Jersey, to Miss Elizabeth Downes, of 
St. James's Street." 


and I was instructed to keep accounts of the disbursements 
I sh [torn out] make in the publick service. 

" But I soon found such accounts were in many instances 
impracticable. For example, I took my son with me, partly 
to assist me as a clerk and otherways hi the publick service, 
and partly to improve him by showing him the world. His 
services were considerable, but so intermixed with private 
services, as that I could not well attend to [sic], I made 
journies, partly for health, and partly that I might, by 
country visits to persons of influence, have more convenient 
opportunities of discoursing them on our publick affairs, the 
expense of which journeys was not easily proportion'd and 
separated. And being myself honour'd with visits from per- 
sons of quality and distinction, I was obliged for the credit 
of the province to live in a fashion and expense, suitable to 
the publick character I sustain'd, and much above what I 
should have done if I had been consider'd merely as a private 
person: and this difference of expense was not easy to dis- 
tinguish, and charge in my accounts. The long sickness and 
frequent relapses I had the first and part of the second 
winter, occasioned by a change of climate, were many 
ways expensive to me, of which I could keep no acct. if 
indeed I ought to have charg'd the province with such 

In the spring of 1763 he set out on a tour through the 
Northern Colonies to inspect and regulate the post-offices in 
the several provinces. He returned in November after 
having travelled about sixteen hundred miles. His depar- 
ture was in the midst of the rejoicing that followed upon the 
treaty of Paris. That he shared the common joy is evident 
from a letter addressed to his friend William Strahan : 


"May 9, 1763. 

" I congratulate you sincerely on the signing of the defini- 
tive treaty, which, if agreeable to the preliminaries, gives us 
peace the most advantageous as well as glorious that was 
ever before attained by Britain. Throughout this continent 
I find it universally approved and applauded; and I am 
glad to find the same sentiment prevailing in your Parliament 
and the unbiased part of the nation. Grumblers there will 
always be among you, where power and places are worth 
striving for, and those who cannot obtain them are angry 
with all that stand in their way. Such would have clamored 
against a ministry not their particular friends, even if in- 
stead of Canada and Louisiana they had obtained a cession 
of the kingdom of heaven. . . ." 

Scarcely had he returned when the terrible conspiracy of 
Pontiac dismayed the colonies. Franklin was appointed 
one of the commissioners to dispose of the public money 
appropriated for the raising and paying an army to act against 
the Indians and defend the frontiers. The Scotch-Irish of 
the western counties, enraged by the outrages committed by 
the savages, ascribed their calamities to the mistaken policy 
of peace and lenity pursued by the Quakers. Blinded and 
perverted by wrath and revenge, they invoked the aid of the 
holy Scriptures and compared themselves to the ancient Israel- 
ites working out the inexorable will of an offended Deity. 
In December (1763) two insurrections took place in which 
twenty friendly Indians, men, women, and children, 
living peaceably near Lancaster, were murdered and scalped 
and their village destroyed by fire : "When the poor wretches 
saw they had no protection nigh, nor could possibly escape, 
and being without the least weapon for defense, they divided 


into their little families, the children clinging to the parents ; 
they fell on their knees, protested their innocence, declared 
their love to the English, and that in their whole lives they 
had never done them injury; and in this posture they all 
received the hatchet." 1 

The rioters, men of Lebanon, Paxton, Donegal, and Han- 
over, threatened further attacks upon the Indians of Province 
Island. The sentiment of their neighbours sanctified their 
atrocities as a religious crusade. Franklin wrote a pamphlet 
entitled "A Narrative of the Late Massacres in Lancaster 
County," intended, as he said, "to strengthen the hands of 
our weak government, by rendering the proceedings of the 
rioters unpopular and odious." 2 One hundred and forty 
terror-stricken Indians, peaceable converts of the Moravian 
missionaries, sought refuge in Philadelphia. The Paxton 
boys, Scotch-Irish fanatics, armed with hatchets and rifles, 
marched upon the city, declaring that they would scalp every 
Moravian Indian in the town. When they approached Ger- 
mantown, the governor, John Perm, in a panic of fear, fled 
for protection to the house of Dr. Franklin. He requested 
Franklin to form an association for the defence of the city. 
One thousand citizens took arms at Franklin's suggestion. 
"Governor Perm," he wrote to Lord Kames, "made my 
house for some time his headquarters, and did every thing 
by my advice; so that, for about forty-eight hours I was a 
very great man ; as I had been once some years before, in a 
time of public danger." He rode out, with three other 
gentlemen, to confer with the Paxtons who had halted seven 
miles from the city. He convinced them that the barracks 

1 Franklin, " Narrative of the Late Massacres in Lancaster County." 

2 To Lord Kames, June 2, 1765. 


in the Northern Liberties where the Indians were sheltered 
were too strongly intrenched and defended to be taken. 
They thereupon turned back and restored quiet to the city. 
The governor, when he had recovered from his fright, ex- 
perienced humiliation and chagrin at having sought and 
accepted protection at the hands of Franklin. The popu- 
lace, fanatically hostile to the Indians, were bitter against 
Franklin for his defence of the Moravians. The Presby- 
terians and the Episcopalians openly in the pulpit and in in- 
flammatory pamphlets approved the atrocious acts of the 
Paxton boys and vindicated the rabble. The governor 
joined with them and offered a bounty for Indian scalps. 
The whole weight of the proprietary interest was now exerted 
to eject Franklin from the Assembly. A series of resolutions 
was passed by the Assembly, censuring the Proprietaries and 
petitioning the king to resume the government of the province. 
During the month of April numerous pamphlets and carica- 
tures appeared, and party rancour was at its height. Frank- 
lin's contribution to the fervid literature was "Cool Thoughts 
on the Present Situation of our Public Affairs." It was 
written at tearing speed, and in the night of April 12, 1764, 
it was furtively thrust beneath house doors or thrown in at 
the open windows of residences. 

When the Assembly met, the chief champions of debate 
were John Dickinson and Joseph Galloway. The latter, 
speaking in favour of royal government, carried the day 
by a large majority. Isaac Norris, the speaker, asked for 
delay, and immediately after resigned the speakership which 
he had held for fifteen years, and Franklin was chosen 
in his room. 

Before the next meeting of the Assembly in October, the 


annual election was to be held. Dickinson published his 
speech with an elaborate preface by another hand, Gallo- 
way followed with his address and a preface by Franklin. 1 

Never had Philadelphia been so aroused over a political 
contest. Franklin and Galloway headed the old ticket; 
Willing and Bryan championed the new. The Moravians 
and Quakers were at the back of the old ticket; the Dutch 
and the Presbyterians with a sprinkling of Episcopalians sup- 
ported the new. A vivid description of the scene upon the 
day of election is found hi a letter from Mr. Pettit of Phila- 
delphia to Joseph Reed : 

" The poll was opened about nine in the morning, the first 
of October, and the steps so crowded, till between eleven and 
twelve at night, that at no time a person could get up in less 
than a quarter of an hour from his entrance at the bottom, 
for they could go no faster than the whole column moved. 
About three in the morning, the advocates for the new ticket 
moved for a close, but (O ! fatal mistake !) the old hands kept 
it open, as they had a reserve of the aged and lame, which 
could not come in the crowd, and were called up and brought 
out in chairs and litters, and some who needed no help, between 
three and six o'clock, about two hundred voters. As both sides 
took care to have spies all night, the alarm was given to the 
new ticket men; horsemen and footmen were immediately 
dispatched to Germantown and elsewhere ; and by nine or ten 
o'clock they began to pour in, so that after the move for a 
close, seven or eight hundred votes were procured; about 
five hundred or near it of which were for the new ticket, and 
they did not close till three in the afternoon, and it took them 
till one next day to count them off. 

1 See Vol. IV, p. 315. 


11 The new ticket carried all but Harrison and Antis, and 
Fox and Hughes came in their room; but it is surprising 
that from upwards of 3900 votes, they should be so near each 
other. Mr. Willing and Mr. Bryan were elected Burgesses 
by a majority of upwards of one hundred votes, though the 
whole number was but about 1300. Mr. Franklin died like 
a philosopher. But Mr. Galloway agonized in death, like 
a mortal deist, who has no hopes of a future existence. The 
other Counties returned nearly the same members who had 
served them before, so that the old faction have still consider- 
able majority in the House." 1 

After fourteen years of service Franklin was unseated by a 
majority of twenty-five in a vote of four thousand. When 
the Assembly met, his name was proposed as the agent of the 
House to present their petition to the king. Dickinson in- 
effectually opposed the nomination with all his eloquence. 
By a vote of nineteen to eleven Franklin was appointed the 
agent of the province. 2 The minority prepared a protest 
which they asked to have inscribed upon the minutes. Frank- 
lin printed a reply entitled "Remarks on a Protest." 3 

A loan was authorized in order to raise money for his ex- 
penses. Eleven hundred pounds were subscribed. Frank- 
lin accepted five hundred, and on November 7, 1764, was 
escorted by a cavalcade of three hundred citizens to Chester 

1 " Life of Joseph Reed," Vol. I, p. 37. 

2 Extract from the Journals of the House of Representatives for the Prov- 
ince of Pennsylvania. October 26, 1 764. 

" Resolved That Benjamin Franklin, Esq. be, and he is hereby appointed 
to embark with all convenient expedition for Great Britain, to join with and 
assist Rich d Jackson Esq. our present Agent, in representing, soliciting and 
transacting the Affairs of this Province for the ensuing Year. A true extract 
from the Journals. Cha s Moore, Clk of Assembly." 

8 See Vol. IV, p. 273. 


where he took ship for England. Galloway, Wharton, 
and James accompanied him in the ship from Chester to 
Newcastle and went ashore there. "The affectionate leave 
taken of me by so many friends at Chester was very endear- 
ing," Franklin wrote to his daughter from Reedy Island, 
" God bless them and all Pennsylvania." 1 

Out of the atmosphere of strife, pursued still by cries of 
passion and furious anger, 2 Franklin slipped into the silence 
of the sea, and in thirty days reached England, and on the 
evening of the loth of December was again in his old lodg- 
ings at No. 7, Craven Street. Cadwallader Evans wrote 
to him from Philadelphia: "A vessel from Ireland to New 
York brought us the most agreeable news of your arrival 
in London, which occasioned a great and general joy in 
Pennsylvania among those whose esteem an honest man 
would value most. The bells rang on that account till near 
midnight, and libations were poured out for your health, 
success, and every other happiness. Even your old friend 
Hugh Roberts stayed with us till eleven o'clock, which you 
know was a little out of his common road, and gave us many 
curious anecdotes within the compass of your forty years' 
acquaintance." A letter from William Franklin to William 
Strahan (February 18, 1765) relates the occurrences that fol- 
lowed hard upon Franklin's departure : "We have not heard 
anything from my Father since he sail'd, but I hope he has 
been safely landed in England at least two months ago. 
Since he left us Mr. Allen one of the principal Prop 7 Tools 
in Pensylvania has employ'd that Miscreant Parson Smith, 

1 To Sarah Bache, November 8, 1764. 

2 " An Answer to Mr. Franklin's Remarks on a Late Protest " appeared 
just after the ship sailed. 


and two or three other Prostitute Writers to asperse his 
Character, in which they have been very industrious. How- 
ever, they have lately received a terrible Shock from Mr. 
Hughes, one of my Father's Friends, who being incens'd 
at their base Conduct published an Advertisement sign'd with 
his Name in which he promised that if Mr. Allen, or any Gent" 
of Character would undertake to justify the Charges brought 
against Mr. Franklin, he would pay 10 to the Hospital for 
every one they should prove to the Satisfaction of impartial 
Persons, provided they would pay $. for every Falshood he 
should prove they had alledged against Mr. Franklin. But 
this Challenge they were afraid to accept, and therefore still 
kept their Names concealed ; but as they thought that some- 
thing must be done, they endeavoured to turn all Mr. Hughes's 
Challenge into Ridicule and raise the Laugh against him by 
an anonymous Answer. He, however, published a Reply 
with his Name subscribed, in which he has lash'd them very 
severely for their Baseness. Not being able to answer this, 
they employ'd one Dove, a Fellow who has some Talents for the 
lowest kind of Scurrility, to publish a Print with some Verses 
annex'd, vilifying my Father and some of the most worthy 
Men of the Province. By way of Revenge some Writer has 
attack'd them in their own Way, and turn'd all Dove's Verses 
against Mr. Allen, he being the Head of the Prop 7 Party. 
This has enraged him excessively as those Verses and the Print 
had cost him upwards of ^25. You will probably have 
seen, before this reaches you, the Advertisement, Answer and 
Reply, as they were printed in Mr. Hall's Newspaper, and 
therefore I send you the enclos'd Pamphlet which is likely 
to put a Stop to that kind of Writing here for the future, as 
was the Intention of the Author. The Matter of the Prop 7 


Party against my Father, on Account of his wanting to bring 
about a Change of Government, is beyond all Bounds. They 
glory in saying and doing Things to destroy his Character 
that would make even Devils blush. If he does not succeed 
I know not what will become of the Province, as there is 
such a rooted Hatred among a great Majority of the People 
against the Prop 7 Family. Do let me hear what you think 
of his Undertaking etc." 



FRANKLIN'S immediate business of presenting the petition 
of the Assembly of Pennsylvania for the change from pro- 
prietary to royal government was for a time postponed by the 
urgency and excitement occasioned by the threatened passage 
of the Stamp Act. Mr. Grenville, in the winter of 1763-1764, 
had "called together the agents of the several colonies and 
told them that he proposed to draw a revenue from America, 
and to that end his intention was to levy a stamp duty on 
the colonies by act of Parliament in the ensuing session, of 
which he thought it fit that they should be immediately ac- 
quainted, that they might have time to consider, and, if any 
other duty equally productive would be more agreeable to 
them, they might let him know of it." l 

The Assembly of Pennsylvania replied that the propo- 
sition of taxing them in Parliament was cruel and unjust. 
"That, by the constitution of the colonies, their business was 
with the King, in matters of aid ; they had nothing to do with 
i See Vol. VII, p. 118. 


any financier t nor he with them ; nor were the agents the proper 
channels through which requisitions should be made: it 
was therefore improper for them to enter in any stipulation, or 
make any proposition, to Mr. Grenville about laying taxes 
on their constituents by Parliament, which had really no right 
at all to tax them, especially as the notice he had sent them 
did not appear to be by the king's order, and perhaps was 
without his knowledge; . . . But, all this notwithstanding, 
they were so far from refusing to grant money, that they re- 
solved to the following purpose ; that as they always had, so 
they always should think it 'their duty to grant aid to the 
crown, according to their abilities, whenever required of them 
hi the usual constitutional manner.' " * 

A copy of this resolution Franklin took with him to Eng- 
land and presented to Mr. Grenville at an interview which 
took place on the 2d of February, 1765, between the minis- 
ter and the four colonial agents. Grenville listened politely 
to the presentation of the colonial resolution, but at once 
made it plain to the agents that he was irrevocably committed 
to the bill, that he would certainly offer it to the House, and 
that while the ears of the mother country would always be 
open to every remonstrance expressed in a becoming manner, 
he hoped that America would preserve moderation and tem- 
perance in the expression of objections. 

In less than seven weeks the bill had passed almost without 
opposition through both Houses, and had received the royal 
assent. The news that the Stamp Act had become law was 
received in America with universal indignation. The colo- 
nies drew together in common protest. The Assemblies 
passed comminatory resolutions denouncing the tyranny and 

i See Vol. VII, p. 118. 


injustice of the law. They resolved to renounce all importa- 
tion of British manufactures, until the Act should be repealed, 
to wear clothes of homespun stuff, and to eat no mutton but to 
rear all lambs for wool. James Parker, a printer in Burling- 
ton, wrote to Franklin (April 25, 1765): "Three days ago 
Charles Read made me a present of a pair of wooden shoes, 
as a proper Badge of the slavery the Stamp Act must soon 
reduce all Printers to, and I shall wear them sometimes for 
the sake of contemplating on the changes of Fortune's Wheel. 
I thank God that we are not yet worse than the Peasants of 
France who have yet the liberty of tilling the ground and 
eating chestnuts and garlick when they can get them." 

Franklin seems to have been ignorant of the unanimity and 
the violence of the opposition. He doubtless supposed that 
after some noisy demonstration the country would settle 
down to a sullen acceptance of the law. Submission to the 
will of Parliament was the wise and proper course. He 
wrote to Charles Thomson : " Depend upon it, my good neigh- 
bour, I took every step in my power to prevent the passing of 
the Stamp Act. Nobody could be more concerned in interest 
than myself to oppose it sincerely and heartily. But the 
Tide was too strong against us. The nation was provoked 
by American Claims of Independence, and all Parties joined 
hi resolving by this Act to settle the point. We might as well 
have hindered the sun's setting. That we could not do. 
But since 'tis down, my Friend, and it may be long before it 
rises again, let us make as good a night of it as we can. We 
may still light candles. Frugality and Industry will go a great 
way toward indemnifying us. Idleness and Pride tax with 
a heavier hand than Kings and Parliaments; if we can get 
rid of the former we may easily bear the latter." 


His confidence in his friend, Joseph Galloway, was great ; 
and upon him he relied for news of the tendencies of parties 
and public opinion at home. Galloway had written to him 
that he had nearly finished writing a pamphlet entitled "Po- 
litical Reflections on the Dispute between Great Britain and 
her Colonies respecting her Right of Imposing Taxes on 
them without their Consent." Something of the kind, he 
wrote (January 13, 1765), "seems absolutely necessary to 
allay the violent Temper of the Americans, which has been so 
worked up as to be ready even for Rebellion itself. But the 
difficulty will be in getting it Published : The Printers on the 
Continent having combined together to print every thing in- 
flammatory and nothing that is rational and cool. By which 
means every thing that is published is ex parte, the people are 
taught to believe the greatest Absurdities and their Passions 
are excited to a Degree of Resentment against the Mother 
Country beyond all Description." In the same letter Gallo- 
way also wrote that " a certain Sect of People if I may judge 
from all their late Conduct seem to look on this as a favour- 
able opportunity of establishing their Republican Principles 
and of throwing off all Connection with their Mother 
Country. Many of their Publications justify the Thought. 
Besides I have other Reasons to think, that they are not 
only forming a Private Union among themselves from one 
end of the Continent to the other, but endeavouring also to 
bring into their Union the Quakers and all other Dissenters 
if possible. But I hope this will be impossible. In Pennsyl- 
vania I am confident it will." 

Again Galloway wrote (June 18, 1765) : "I cannot describe 
to you the indefatigable Industry that have been and are con- 
stantly taking by the Prop y Party and Men in Power 


here to prevail on the people to give every kind of Opposition 
to the Execution of this Law. To incense their Minds against 
the King, Lords and Commons, and to alienate their Affections 
from the Mother Country. It is no uncommon thing to hear 
the Judges of the Courts of Justice from the first to the most 
Inferiour, in the Presence of the attending Populace, to Treat 
the whole Parliament with the most irreverent Abuse. 
Scarcely an thing is too Bad to be said of the Ministry, and 
that worthy Nobleman L* Bute is openly cursed whenever his 
Name is mentioned These things are truly alarming to our 
Friends and the Discreet and Sensible part of the People, as it 
is Evident they tend with great rapidity to create in the 
Minds of the Populace and weaker part of mankind a Spirit 
of Riot and Rebellion, which will be hereafter Quelled with 
great Difficulty, if ever Quelled at all. 

" It is already become Dangerous to Espouse the Conduct 
of the Parliament in some parts of America, in any Degree, 
as the Resolves before mentioned prove. And I fear will in 
a very Short Time become so in this Province. For almost 
every Pen & Tongue are employd against them, while not a 
word scarcely is offerd on their side." 

Franklin firmly believed that the Stamp Act was, in his oft- 
repeated phrase, "the mother of mischief," but he counselled 
caution and moderation. Too stubborn resistance to its pro- 
visions would break in pieces the loyalty and allegiance of the 
colonies. Soon after the Act was passed, the colony agents 
were called together by William Whateley, the secretary of 
Mr. Grenville, and informed that it was the wish of the min- 
ister "to make the execution of the act as little inconvenient 
and disagreeable to America as possible; and therefore did 
not think of sending stamp officers from the country, but 



wished to have discreet and reputable persons appointed in 
each province from among the inhabitants, such as would be 
acceptable to them; for, as they were to pay the tax, he 
thought strangers should not have the emolument." l 

In compliance with this plausible and seemingly candid 
invitation Franklin named his old friend and stout defender, 
John Hughes, to be stamp distributor for Pennsylvania. He 
was soon to learn that he had strangely misread the temper 
of his countrymen. Thomas Wharton wrote to him from 
Philadelphia, October 5, 1765, "This day the Letter and the 
August packet came to hand as well as the Vessell with the 
stamp'd Paper came up to town, but such confusion and dis- 
order it created as thou never saw with Us, the Inhabitants 
collected to the State house by beat of Drum, and nothing 
less than the Destruction of our dear Friend J. Hughes or the 
Surrender of his Office were the objects, and find'g Matters 
thus circumstanc'd and he being reduced to a very low State 
by a severe Indisposition, he at last promis'd that he would 
resign on second day next." 

Hughes was hung in effigy in the Jersey market, and not a 
magistrate could be found who would order it to be taken 
down. Threats were freely made to destroy his residence, 
and he thought it prudent to leave it and to remove his best 
furniture and papers. 

Maledictions were heaped upon Franklin as a betrayer of 
the trust reposed in him by the people. The Chief Jus- 
tice asserted in the House that Franklin had planned the 
Stamp Act, and was the greatest enemy to its repeal. Frank- 
lin replied in a letter to his wife (November 9, 1765): "I 
thank him that he does not charge me (as they [the Presby- 

1 Letter to Rev. Josiah Tucker, February 26, 1774. 


terians] do their God) with having planned Adam's fall and 
the Damnation of Mankind. It might be affirmed with equal 
Truth and Modesty. He certainly was intended, for a wise 
man, for he has the wisest look of any Man I know and 
if he would only nod and wink, and could but hold his Tongue 
he might deceive an Angel. Let us pity and forget him." 
Franklin's house in Philadelphia was menaced. Mrs. Frank- 
lin was entreated to seek safety in Burlington, New Jersey, 
but she refused to leave. She wrote to her husband, " Cousin 
Davenport came and told me that more than twenty people 
had told him it was his duty to be with me. I said I was 
pleased to receive civility from anybody, so he staid with me 
some time ; towards night I said he should fetch a gun or two, 
as we had none. I sent to ask my brother to come and bring 
his gun also, so we turned one room into a magazine; I 
ordered some sort of defense up stairs, such as I could manage 

With his usual thriftiness Franklin had, as soon as he was 
convinced that the Stamp Act would pass, sent over to David 
Hall a quantity of unstamped paper in order that his partner 
might have an advantage over his competitors. He wrote at 
the same time, " The Stamp Act notwithstanding all the Oppo- 
sition that could be given it by the American Interest, will 
pass. I think it will affect the Printers more than anybody, 
as a Sterling Halfpenny Stamp on every Half Sheet of a News- 
paper, and Two Shillings Sterling on every Advertisement, will 
go near to knock up one Half of both. There is also Four- 
pence Sterling on every Almanack. I have just sent to Mr. 
Strahan to forward 100 Reams of the large Half Sheets to you, 
such as the Chronicle is done on, for present use, and shall, 
as soon as possible, send you a Pair of Paper Molds for that 


size, otherwise the Stamp on the Gazette will cost a Penny 
Sterling, even when you do not print a Half Sheet." * Permis- 
sion was not granted to have the paper stamped in America, 
and it was sent back to England at Franklin's cost. He 
wrote again to his partner (August 9, 1765) : "As to the paper 
sent over, I did it for the best, having at that Time Expecta- 
tions given me that we might have had it Stamped there, in 
which case you would have had great Advantage over the 
other Printers, since if they were not provided with such 
Paper they must have either printed but a half sheet Common 
Demi, or paid for two Stamps on each sheet. The Plan was 
afterwards altered notwithstanding all I could do ... I 
would not have you by any means drop the newspaper, as I 
am sure it will soon recover any present loss, and may be car- 
ried on to advantage if you steadily proceed as I proposed 
in former letters." 

Quick as he was to take advantage in the way of business 
of every varying gale of political fortune, he was occupied in 
England, to the exclusion of every other subject, in attempting 
the repeal of the obnoxious law. "In a continual hurry from 
morning to night," as he told Lord Kames, he attended mem- 
bers of both Houses, informing, consulting, disputing. He 
wrote frequent letters to The Public Advertiser, 2 filled with co- 
gent and practical argument, and with very obvious irony. 

To John Hughes he wrote privately that he was by no 
means sure of repeal. "In the meantime a firm Loyalty 
to the Crown and faithful Adherence to the Government of 
this Nation which it is the Safety as well as Honour of the 
Colonies to be connected with, will always be the wisest 

1 To David Hall, February 14, 1765. 
a See Vol. IV, pp. 393 et seq. 


Course for you and I to take, whatever may be the Madness 
of the Populace or their blind Leaders, who can only bring 
themselves and Country into Trouble and draw on greater 
Burthens by Acts of rebellious Tendency." 1 

The stamped paper reached Philadelphia in October, 1765. 
Upon the approach of the first vessel bearing the detested 
cargo flags were put at half mast and bells were muffled. 
Stamped paper wherever found was promptly burned. House- 
wives resumed their knitting and spinning. Franklin, like 
many another well-to-do householder, went clothed from head 
to foot in garments of his wife's making. Not a joint of 
lamb was to be seen on any table in America, throughout a 
country of 1500 miles extent. American orders placed with 
manufacturers in England were cancelled. Merchants en- 
gaged in the colonial trade appealed in alarm and dismay to 
Parliament for aid. Testimony was given at the bar of the 
House for six weeks. Such evidence, said Burke, was never 
laid before Parliament. On the second of February Franklin 
appeared before the Committee of the whole House. The 
" Examination of Dr. Franklin before the House of Commons " 
is historically famous and valuable. Searching questions 
intended to embarrass him were asked by the most astute men 
of affairs in England. His answers were so informing and 
illuminating, so indicative of extraordinary eminence of mind 
and character that Edmund Burke compared the scene to 
that of a schoolmaster being catechised by his pupils. It is 
a mistake to suppose that Franklin was entirely unaware 
before he submitted to interrogation of the character of the 
questions that would be asked of him. He enjoyed a large 
acquaintance among the membership of the House. They 

1 To John Hughes, August 9, 1765. 


knew perfectly well the nature of his views and the range of his 
knowledge. They framed questions that were wisely calcu- 
lated to elicit information the most favourable to the cause 
he represented. The entire "Examination," as published 
in 1767 is printed in volume IV, pp. 412-448, and it is unnec- 
essary in this place to quote from that astonishing document. 
It may be well however to relate that in a memorandum which 
Franklin gave to a friend who wished to know by whom 
the questions were put he admitted that many were asked by 
friends to draw out in answer the substance of what he had 
before said upon the subject. The following is the memoran- 
dum as printed in Walsh's Life of Franklin, contained in 
Delaplaine's Repository : 

"I have numbered the questions," says Dr. Franklin, "for 
the sake of making references to them. 

"Qu. i, is a question of form, asked of every one that is 
examined. Qu. 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, were asked by Mr. Hewitt, 
a member for Coventry, a friend of ours, and were designed 
to draw out the answers that follow; being the substance of 
what I had before said to him on the subject, to remove a 
common prejudice, that the Colonies paid no taxes, and that 
their governments were supported by burdening the people 
here ; Qu. 7, was particularly intended to show by the answer, 
that Parliament could not properly and equally lay taxes in 
America, as they could not, by reason of their distance, be ac- 
quainted with such circumstances as might make it necessary 
to spare particular parts. Qu. 8 to 13, asked by Mr. Huske, 
another friend, to show the impracticability of distributing the 
Stamps in America. Qu. 14, 15, 16, by one of the late ad- 
ministration, an adversary. Qu. 17 to 26, by Mr. Huske 
again. His questions about the Germans, and about the 


number of people, were intended to make the opposition to the 
Stamp Act in America appear more formidable. He asked 
some others here that the Clerk has omitted, particularly one, 
I remember. 

" There had been a considerable party in the House for sav- 
ing the honour and right of Parliament, by retaining the Act, 
and yet making it tolerable to America, by reducing it to a 
stamp on commissions for profitable offices, and on cards and 
dice. I had, in conversation with many of them, objected to 
this, as it would require an establishment for the distributors, 
which would be a great expense, as the stamps would not be 
sufficient to pay them, and so the odium and contention would 
be kept up for nothing. The notion of amending, however, 
still continued, and one of the most active of the members for 
promoting it told me, he was sure I could, if I would, assist 
them to amend the Act in such a manner, that America should 
have little or no objection to it. 'I must confess,' says I, 
' I have thought of one amendment ; if you will make it, the 
Act may remain, and yet the Americans will be quieted. It 
is a very small amendment, too; it is only the change of a 
single word.' 'Ay,' says he, 'what is that?' 'It is in that 
clause where it is said, that from and after the first day of 
November one thousand seven hundred and sixty-five, there 
shall be paid, &c. The amendment I would propose is, for 
one read two, and then all the rest of the act may stand as it 
does. I believe it will give nobody in America any uneasiness. 
Mr. Huske had heard of this, and, desiring to bring out the 
same answer in the House, asked me whether I could not pro- 
pose a small amendment, that would make the act palatable. 
But, as I thought the answer he wanted too light and ludicrous 
for the House, I evaded the question. 


"Qu. 27, 28, 29, 1 think these were by Mr. Grenville, but I 
am not certain. Qu. 30, 31, 1 know not who asked them. 
Qu. 32 to 35, asked by Mr. Nugent, who was against us. His 
drift was to establish a notion he had entertained, that the 
people in America had a crafty mode of discouraging the 
English trade by heavy taxes on merchants. Qu. 36 to 42, 
most of these by Mr. Cooper and other friends, with whom I 
had discoursed, and were intended to bring out such answers 
as they desired and expected from me. Qu. 43, uncertain 
by whom. Qu. 44, 45, 46, by Mr. Nugent again, who I 
suppose intended to infer, that the poor people in America 
were better able to pay taxes than the poor in England. 
Qu. 47, 48, 49, by Mr. Prescott, an adversary. 

"Qu. 50 to 58, by different members, I cannot recollect 
who. Qu. 59 to 78, chiefly by the former ministry. Qu. 
79 to 82, by friends. Qu. 83, by one of the late ministry. 
Qu. 84, by Mr. Cooper. Qu. 85 to 90, by some of the late 
ministry. Qu. 91, 92, by Mr. Grenville. Qu. 93 to 98, 
by some of the late ministry. Qu. 99, 100, by some friend, 
I think Sir George Saville. Qu. 101 to 106, by several of 
the late ministry. Qu. 107 to 114, by friends. Qu. 115 
to 117, by Mr. A. Bacon. Qu. 118 to 120, by some of the 
late ministry. Qu. 121, by an adversary. Qu. 122, by a 
friend. Qu. 123, 124, by Mr. Charles Townshend. Qu. 
125, by Mr. Nugent. Qu. 126, by Mr. Grenville. Qu. 127, 
by one of the late ministry. Qu. 128, by Mr. G. Grenville. 
Qu. 129, 130, 131, by Mr. Welbore Ellis, late Secretary of 
War. Qu. 132 to 135, uncertain. Qu. 136 to 142, by some 
of the late ministry, intending to prove that it operated where 
no service was done, and therefore it was a tax. Qu. 143, 
by a friend, I forgot who. Qu. 144, 145, by C. Townshend. 










en g 

Q ^ 

g Z 

n u 

W M 


Qu. 146 to 151, by some of the late ministry. Qu. 152 
to 157, by Mr. Prescott, and others of the same side. Qu. 
158 to 162, by Charles Townshend. Qu. 163, 164, by a 
friend, I think Sir George Saville. Qu. 165, by some friend. 

Qu. 166, 167, by an adversary. Qu. 168 to 174, by 

"Mr. Nugent made a violent speech next day upon this 
examination, in which he said, 'We have often experienced 
Austrian ingratitude and yet we assisted Portugal, we expe- 
rienced Portuguese ingratitude, and yet we assisted America. 
But what is Austrian ingratitude, what is the ingratitude of 
Portugal, compared to this of America? We have fought, 
bled, and ruined ourselves, to conquer for them; and now 
they come and tell us to our noses, even at the bar of this 
House, that they were not obliged to us,' &c. But his clamour 
was very little minded." 

Eight days after the Examination closed, or on the 2ist of 
February, a Repealing Bill was introduced into Parliament 
which successfully passed both Houses and received the royal 
assent on the eighth of March. The news was received in 
America with uproarious and extravagant joy. The Gov- 
ernor of Pennsylvania, the Mayor of Philadelphia, and the 
gentlemen of the city drank the health of "our worthy and 
faithful agent, Dr. Franklin." The chief feature of the pro- 
cession in honour of the event was a barge forty feet in length, 
named Franklin, from which salutes were fired. At the 
annual election in October opposition was silenced and Frank- 
lin was renominated agent, as Cadwallader Evans wrote to 
him, " without any dirt being thrown at you ; indeed it is 
so notorious that you exerted all your abilities in favour of 
the Colonies that none now are so hardy as to insinuate the 


contrary even the great Giant 1 acknowledged in the House 
you had been of service." Historians have occasionally 
censured Franklin for not more actively resisting the Stamp 
Act. Five tracts concerning the bill, printed in London and 
Paris (1765-69), which belonged to Franklin and in which 
he wrote copious notes are now in the Lenox Library. A 
random reading of these abundant and incisive comments is 
sufficient to demonstrate the whole-hearted aversion with 
which Franklin regarded "the mother of mischiefs." 

One of these tracts is entitled "The Claim of the Colonies 
to an Exemption from Internal Taxes imposed by Authority 
of Parliament, examined in a Letter from a Gentleman in Lon- 
don to a friend in America" (London, for W. Johnston, 1765). 
Franklin wrote upon the title-page " by Knox Esq. agent for 
Georgia." I quote a few of his marginalia : 

Knox: "The parliament of Great Britain has exercised 
supreme and uncontrouled jurisdiction, internally and ex- 
ternally over the properties and persons of the subjects in the 
colonies. Yet it is said, all these instances do not go to the 
point of an internal tax that has never been imposed by 

Franklin's note: "Highwaymen on Hounslow Heath 
have for ages past exercised the same jurisdiction over sub- 
jects here; but does that prove they had a Right so to do?" 

Knox : "In the Charter granted by the crown to Mr. Perm, 
the clause of exemption is to this purpose, That the inhabit- 
ants of Pennsylvania shall not be subject to any taxes or 
impositions, other than such as shall be laid by the House 
of Assembly, or by the parliament of England. Here is an 

1 The Chief Justice William Allen. 


express reservation of the right of parliament to impose 
taxes upon the people of Pennsylvania ; a right which, in the 
opinion of a gentleman of that country, the only man whose 
account of North America, it has been said, ought to be re- 
garded, is equivalent to an authority to declare all the white 
persons in that province, negroes. So little was that gen- 
tleman acquainted with the constitution of the very province 
he was bom and resided in." 

Franklin: "The Charter says We nor our Successor will 
impose no Tax, but such as shall be with the Consent of the 
Proprietary & Assembly or by Act of Parliament. Suppose 
it had said, We will impose no Tax on you but by Act of the 
States in Holland, would this have given the States of Holland 
a right to tax Pensilvania, if Holland had no such right before ? 
A Right that never existed cannot be a Right Reserved. 
Holland indeed had before a Right of taxing the Country 
afterwards Pensilvania and therefore such a Right might be 
given to Holland If the Parliament had before no such 
Right it could not be given to them by Words hi the Charter." 

Knox : " The question then will be, Can the Crown grant 
an exemption to any Subject of Great Britain from the juris- 
diction of Parliament?" (p. 8) 

Franklin: "The People of G. Britain are subjects of the 
King. Great Britain is not a sovereign. The Parliament 
has Power only within the Realm." 

Knox: "The Crown, considered as the Executive power, 
cannot controul the legislature, nor dispense with its acts." 
(p. 8) 

Franklin: "Does this Writer imagine that wherever an 
Englishman settles he is subject to the Power of Parlia- 


KNOX : "Not five years since did the parliament take away 
from the fishmongers of London, the most material and bene- 
ficial part of their charter, and destroyed the peculiar privi- 
leges the crown had granted them ; and yet the charter of that 
company stood upon as good authority as does the charter of 
any colony in America." (p. 9) 

FRANKLIN: "It is not to the Honour of a King, to grant 
a Charter as King, and afterwards take it away by assenting 
to an Act of Parliament for that purpose. He may assent 
to an act of Parliament for putting away his Queen, tho' 
without Cause; but would this be just?" 

Another tract is "Protest against the Bill, to Repeal the 
American Stamp Act of last Session" (Paris, 1766). It is 
crowded with marginalia, the suggestions for a formal reply. 

"We have submitted to your Laws, no Proof of our ac- 
knowledging your Power to make them. Rather an Acknowl- 
edgement of their Reasonableness or of our own weakness. 
Post office came as a Matter of Utility. Was aided by the 
Legislature Mean to take Advantage of our Ignorance. 
Children should not be impos'd on : Are not, even by honest 
shopkeepers. A great and magnificent Nation should dis- 
dain to govern by Tricks and Traps, that would disgrace a 
pettyfogging Attorney." 

"The sovereignty of the Crown I understand. The sov 7 
of the British Legislature out of Britain I do not understand." 

" The FEAR of being thought weak is a Timidity & weak- 
ness of the worst sort as it betrays into a Persisting in Errors 
that may be much more mischievous than the Appearance of 
Weakness. A great and powerful State like this has no cause 


for such Timidity. Acknowledging & correcting an Error 
shows great Magnanimity. . . . And do your Lordships 
really think Force & Bloodshed more eligible than rectifying 
an Error?" 

The writer of the tract held that "This law, if properly 
supported by Government would from the peculiar circum- 
stances attending the disobedience to it, execute itself without 
bloodshed" (p. 15). Franklin's note thereupon reads: "It 
has executed itself, that is it has been felo de se. Observation 
in one of the Colonies that there was no occasion to Execute 
their Laws. They died of themselves. A Law universally 
odious can never be executed in any Government." 

Another tract liberally annotated with Franklin's margina- 
lia is " The true Constitutional Means for putting an End to 
the Disputes between Great Britain and the American Colo- 
nies" (London, 1769). "The directive influence of the 
British state," says the writer "remains with the British 
legislature, who are the only proper judges of what concerns 
the general welfare of the whole empire" (p. 14). Franklin 
replies : " The British state is only the island of Great Britain. 
The British Legislature are undoubtedly the only proper 
judges of what concerns the welfare of that state: But the 
Irish Legislature are the proper Judges of what concerns the 
Irish state and the American Legislatures of what concerns 
the American States respectively. By the whole Empire does 
this writer mean all the King's dominions ? If so the British 
Parliament should also govern the Isles of Jersey & Guernsey, 
Hanover etc. But it is not so." The author proceeds, "It is 
plain that the Americans could have no reason to complain 
of being exposed to a disproportionate tax ["It is only plain 


that you know nothing of the matter." F.]. Several of the 
colonists of the rank of good livers have often been seen to pay 
the price of a negro with gold. ["Was not the gold first 
purchased by the Produce of the Land, obtained by hard 
labour? Does gold drop from the Clouds of Virginia into the 
laps of the indolent ? " F.] As instances of Virginian luxury 
I have been assured that there are few families there without 
some plate ; [" Their very purchasing Plate and other super- 
fluities from England is one means of disabling them from 
paying Taxes to England. Would you have it both in meal 
and malt?" F.] and that at some entertainments the atten- 
dants have appeared almost as numerous as the guests 
["It has been a great Folly in the Americans to entertain Eng- 
lish Gentlemen with a splendid hospitality ill suited to their 
Circumstances ; by which they excited no other grateful Sen- 
timents in their guests than that of a desire to tax the Land- 
lord." F.]." 

Another copiously annotated pamphlet is entitled "An In- 
quiry into the Nature and Causes of the Disputes between the 
British Colonies in America and their Mother Country" 
(London, 1769). 

Extract. " That the late war was chiefly kindled and carried 
on, on your account, can scarcely be denied." 

Observation. It is denied. 

" By the steps they seem to take to shake off our sovereignty." 

Our sovereignty again! This writer, like the Genoese 
queens of Corsica, deems himself a sprig of royalty ! 

"For, as soon as they are no longer dependent upon Eng- 
land, they may be assured they will immediately become de- 
pendent upon France." 

We are assured of the contrary. Weak states, that are 


poor, are as safe as great ones, that are rich. They are not 
objects of envy. The trade, that may be carried on with 
them, makes them objects of friendship. The smallest 
states may have great allies; and the mutual jealousies of 
great nations contribute to their security. 

"And whatever reasons there might exist to dispose them 
hi our favour in preference to the French ; yet, how far these 
would operate, no one can pretend to say." 

Then be careful not to use them ill. It is a better reason 
for using them kindly. That alone can retain their friendship. 
Your sovereignty will be of no use, it the people hate you. 
Keeping them in obedience will cost you more than your profits 
from them amount to. 

"It is not, indeed, for their jealousy of their rights and 
liberties, but for their riotous and seditious manner of assert- 
ing them." 

Do you Englishmen then pretend to censure the colonies 
for riots ? Look at home ! ! ! I have seen, within a year, 
riots in the country about corn; riots about elections; riots 
about work-houses ; riots of colliers ; riots of weavers ; riots 
of coal-heavers; riots of sawyers; riots of sailors; riots of 
Wilkesites ; riots of government chairmen ; riots of smugglers, 
in which custom-house officers and excisemen have been mur- 
dered, the King's armed vessels and troops fired at, &c. In 
America, if one mob rises, and breaks a few windows, or tars 
and feathers a single rascally informer, it is called REBELLION; 
troops and fleets must be sent, and military execution talked of 
as the decentest thing in the world. Here, indeed, one would 
think riots part of the mode of government. 

"And if she had not thought proper to centre almost all 
her care, as she has done, upon making the late peace, in pro- 


curing them a safe establishment, and to sacrifice to it, in a 
manner, every other object, she might, at least, expect from 
them a more decent and dutiful demeanour." 

In the last war, America kept up twenty-five thousand men 
at her own cost for five years, and spent many millions. Her 
troops were in all battles, all service. Thousands of her youth 
fell a sacrifice. The crown gained an immense extent of 
territory, and a great number of new subjects. Britain 
gained a new market for her manufactures, and recovered and 
secured the old one among the Indians, which the French had 
interrupted and annihilated. But what did the Americans 
gain except that safe establishment, which they are now so 
taunted with? Lands were divided among none of them. 
The very fishery, which they fought to obtain, they are now 
restrained in. The plunder of the Havana was not for them. 
And this very safe establishment they might as well have had 
by treaty with the French, their neighbours, who would prob- 
ably have been easily made and continued their friends, if it 
had not been for their connexion with Britain. 



IN the brief calm that followed the repeal of the Stamp Act, 
Franklin enjoyed a visit to the Continent. His friend Sir 
John Pringle, physician to the Queen, intended a journey to 
Pyrmont to drink the waters. They set forth together, June 
15, 1766, and returned August 13, 1766. Information con- 
cerning this tour is very meagre. No letters exist written at 
that period by Franklin; nor did he keep any notes of his 


travels. John D. Michaelis, the Orientalist, was presented 
to him at Gottingen by a student named Miinchhausen. 
Michaelis ventured a prophecy that the colonies would one 
day release themselves from England. Franklin replied that 
the Americans had too much love for their mother country, 
to which Michaelis said, "I believe it, but almighty interest 
would soon outweigh that love or extinguish it altogether." 
Another scholar who profited at the same time and place by 
Franklin's conversation was Achenwall, who in the following 
year published in the Hanoverische Magazine "Some Obser- 
vations on North America and the British Colonies, from 
verbal information furnished by Mr. B. Franklin." In 
conclusion Achenwall said, "I doubt not that other men of 
learning in this country have used their acquaintance with 
this honoured man as well as I. Could they be persuaded to 
give the public their noteworthy conversation with him, it 
would be doing the public a great benefit." * 

A few days before Franklin left England he asked leave 
of the Pennsylvania Assembly to return home in the spring. 
His request appears to have been ignored, and on the first day 
of the new session he was again appointed as the agent of the 
colony. Georgia passed an ordinance, April n, 1768, au- 
thorizing him to act as agent for that colony at a salary of one 
hundred pounds a year, his service to begin June i, I768; 2 
and the House of Representatives of New Jersey, November 

1 These observations were reprinted in 1769 at Frankfurt and Stuttgart, 
and in 1777 at Helmstedt. See also Johan Putters' " Selbstbiographie," 
Gottingen, 1793, Vol. II, p. 490, for a brief account of Franklin's visit. 

2 The ordinance was reenacted, February 27, 1770. The dissolution of 
the Assembly prevented the ordinance from going through its regular forms. 
Georgia formally recorded a vote of thanks to Franklin for his conduct of the 
affairs of the commonwealth, March 13, 1774. 



8, 1769, unanimously chose him their representative in London 
at a like salary. 1 

For a twelvemonth after his return from Germany Frank- 
lin was busied with questions of paper money for the colonies, 3 
and the creation of "barrier states" by which he hoped to pro- 
vide permanent defences for the Atlantic settlements and at the 
same time to send a stream of immigration into the western 
country. 3 In the summer of 1767 certain physical symptoms 
warned him to slacken his efforts. He was socially indulgent 
and physically indolent. He had already had several attacks 
of gout. To keep his health he found it necessary to take 
occasional journeys into strange countries. A slight but re- 
current giddiness decided him to cross the Channel. In 
company with Sir John Pringle he started for France on the 
twenty-eighth of August, 1767, and remained there until the 
eighth of October. 4 The travellers were presented to the 
King, and Franklin wrote a familiar description of the Grand 
Convert, where the royal family supped in public, to his friend 
Mary Stevenson, qualifying his admiration for the foreign 
court by saying, "I would not have you think me so well 
pleased with this King and Queen, as to have a whit less regard 
than I used to have for ours. No Frenchman shall go beyond 
me in thinking my own King and Queen the very best in the 
world, and the most amiable." 5 

1 The appointment was continued during the time of Franklin's residence 
in London. 

z See Vol. V, p. i. Ibid., p. 467. 

* At that time the Dover machine set out every morning at five o'clock 
from the White Bear, Piccadilly, the Golden Cross, or the Bear at Westmin- 
ster Bridge. It reached Dover the same night. Fare (inside) twenty shillings, 
fourteen pounds of baggage allowed free, and all above that weight charged 
for at three halfpence a pound. The passage to Calais cost ten shillings and 
sixpence. Franklin stopped at the Calais Inn, " La Table Royale." 

6 See letter to Mary Stevenson, September 14, 1767. 


Immediately upon his return to London news arrived 
of the retaliatory measures adopted in Boston upon the 
recent revenue acts of Parliament. In Pennsylvania and 
New England the people were again resolved to import no 
more British manufactures, but to establish such industries 
at home. The demand for British goods was constantly 
diminishing. Lynn, Massachusetts, made yearly eighty 
thousand pairs of women's shoes better and cheaper than 
any made abroad, and not alone supplied the towns of New 
England but sent large quantities to the Southern Colonies 
and the West Indies. Humphry Marshall wrote to Franklin 
expressing a hope that the American people would not forget 
the cause of their late resentment but would continue to 
manufacture the articles necessary for their use. The 
newspapers of England were in full cry against America. 
Franklin wrote to his son, "Colonel Onslow told me at court 
last Sunday, that I could not conceive how much the friends 
of America were run upon and hurt by them, and how much 
the Grenvillians triumphed." 1 

To correct the English view of the agitation in America he 
wrote "Causes of the American Discontents before i768." 2 
When John Dickinson's " Farmer's Letters" reached England, 
Franklin was so favourably impressed by the common sense, 
sane argument, and perspicuous manner with which his old 
adversary had stated the case for the Americans that he 
immediately published the work in London with a preface 
of his own writing. 

To add to the uncertainties of the time numerous politi- 
cal changes took place. Lord Hillsborough replaced Lord 

1 To William Franklin, December IO, 1767. 
See Vol. V, p. 78. 


Shelburne and was made Secretary of State for America, a 
new and distinct department. Conway resigned and Lord 
Weymouth succeeded him. Lord Northington retired from 
the Presidency of the Council and Lord Gower assumed the 
duties of that office. Lord Sandwich became postmaster-gen- 
eral, and several of the reactionaries, members of the House 
of Bedford, followed him into office. A confidential letter 
written by Franklin to his son, July 2, 1768 (Vol. V, pp. 142- 
48), gives a graphic account of the political manceuvres and 
the wary walking that he was obliged to do to avoid the pit- 
falls prepared for him. His partnership with David Hall 
being dissolved, Franklin was deprived of one thousand 
pounds a year, an income which he had enjoyed for eighteen 
years. He was now to some extent dependent upon his 
official salary. He knew that the ministry were criticising 
his long stay in England and asking what service he was 
rendering to justify his continuance as deputy postmaster in 
America. The Duke of Grafton and Lord North held before 
him the allurement of a permanent position in England as 
under secretary to the newly created American office. He 
wrote to his son, "For my own thoughts I must tell you that 
though I did not think fit to decline any favour so great a 
man expressed an inclination to do me, because at court if 
one shows an unwillingness to be obliged, it is often construed 
as a mark of mental hostility, and one makes an enemy; 
yet so great is my inclination to be at home, and at rest, that 
I shall not be sorry if this business falls through, and I am 
suffered to retire with my old post ; nor indeed very sorry if 
they take that from me too on account of my zeal for America, 
in which some of my friends have hinted to me that I have 
been too open. ... If Mr. Grenville comes into power 


again, in any department respecting America, I must refuse 
to accept of any thing that may seem to put me in his power, 
because I apprehend a breach between the two countries." 

Nothing came of the good wishes of the Duke of Grafton, 
and Franklin refused to be drawn by the ill-tempered abuse 
levelled at him in the newspapers. He knew that his ene- 
mies were seeking to provoke him to resign. "In this," 
he said to his sister, "they are not likely to succeed, I being 
deficient in that Christian virtue of resignation. If they 
would have my office, they must take it." 

There are abundant evidences in Franklin's correspondence 
that he was apprehensive of a disaster impending over 
England. Lawless riot and confusion were about him in 
1768. He looked upon mobs patrolling the streets at noon, 
roaring for Wilkes and Liberty, coal heavers and porters 
pulling down the houses of coal merchants who refused to 
give them more wages, sawyers destroying sawmills, soldiers 
firing upon the mob and killing men, women, and children. 
All respect of law and government seemed lost. A great 
black cloud seemed to Franklin to be coming on, ready to 
burst in a general tempest. "What the event will be God 
only knows. But some punishment seems preparing for a 
people, who are ungratefully abusing the best constitution, 
and the best King, any nation was ever blest with, intent on 
nothing but luxury, licentiousness, power, places, pensions, 
and plunder." 1 The dread of some terrible calamity lurk- 
ing in the future, and the haunting fear of national separa- 
tion caused him to counsel temperance and forbearance in 
America, and to try by all his logical persuasion to justify and 
commend his countrymen in England. 

1 To John Ross, May 14, 1768. 


His writings were always conciliatory, irenic. He sought 
by every means in his power to splinter the broken joint be- 
tween the colonies and old England. From the first he was 
loyal to the English government. He assured Lord Chatham 
that "having more than once travelled almost from one end 
of the continent to the other and kept a great variety of com- 
pany, eating, drinking and conversing freely with them, 
I never had heard in any conversation from any person, 
drunk or sober, the least expression of a wish for a separa- 
tion, or hint that such a thing would be advantageous to 

The British empire he likened, with homely comparison, 
to a handsome China vase, 'twere a great pity to break it ; 
and he was convinced that the dismemberment of the empire 
would mean ruin to all its parts. When it was urged that in 
time the colonies by their growth would become the dominant 
half, he answered, "Which is best, to have a total separation, 
or a change of the seat of government?" 1 Here he seems 
occasionally to have caught a glimpse of an historic vision of 
which Lord Rosebery in dream has seen the phantom retro- 
spect. Is it fanciful, asks that eloquent statesman, to dwell 
for a moment on what might have happened if the elder 
Pitt had not left the House of Commons when he became 
first minister? "He would have prevented or suppressed the 
reckless budget of Charles Townshend, have induced George 
III to listen to reason, introduced representatives from Amer- 
ica into the Imperial Parliament, and preserved the thirteen 
American colonies to the British crown. The reform bill 
would probably have been passed much earlier, for the new 

1 Bishop Tucker said it was well known that Franklin wanted to transfer 
the seat of government to America. 


blood of America would have burst the old vessels of the 
Constitution. And when, at last, the Americans became 
the majority, the seat of Empire would perhaps have been 
moved solemnly across the Atlantic, and Britain have 
become the historical shrine and European outpost of 
the world empire. What an extraordinary revolution it 
would have been had it been accomplished. The most 
sublime transference of power in the history of mankind. 
The greatest sovereign in the greatest fleet in the uni- 
verse; ministers, government, Parliament, departing sol- 
emnly for the other hemisphere; not as in the case of 
the Portuguese sovereigns emigrating to Brazil under 
the spur of necessity, but under the vigorous embrace of 
the younger world." 1 

Some such vision wavered at times before the mind of 
Franklin as he reflected upon the discontented politics of 
the troubled years before the Revolution. But after years 
of labour he could only say, "I do not find that I have gained 
any point in either country, except that of rendering myself 
suspected by my impartiality ; in England of being too much 
an American, and in America of being too much an Eng- 
lishman." He was entirely in accord with Burke and 
Chatham, touching the unity and integrity of the empire and 
with regard to the unjust taxation of America. To those who 
regretted the repeal of the Stamp Act he said: "I can only 
judge of others by myself. I have some little property in 
America. I will freely give nineteen shillings in the pound to 
defend the right of giving or refusing the other shilling ; and 
after all, if I cannot defend that right, I can retire cheerfully 
with my little family into the boundless woods of America 

1 Lord Rosebery's Rectorial Address at the University of Glasgow. 


which are sure to afford freedom and subsistence to any man 
who can bait a hook or pull a trigger." 

After the Boston massacres, 1 Franklin was chosen by the 
Assembly of Massachusetts, October 24, 1770, to be their 
agent in London, "to appear for the House at the Court of 
Great Britain" and to sustain their interests, "before his 
Majesty in Council, or in either House of Parliament, or 
before any public board." Thomas Gushing, the Speaker 
of the Assembly, transmitted to him the certificate of his 
appointment. Franklin replied that he esteemed the appoint- 
ment the greater honour as it was unsolicited on his part, 
and that he would be very happy if in that capacity he could 
render the country any acceptable service. Lord Hills- 
borough was now secretary, a man whose character accord- 
ing to Franklin was "conceit, wrong-headedness, obstinacy 
and passion." A few weeks after receiving his credentials 
Franklin called upon Hillsborough when an interview oc- 
curred of which he made a faithful record in his journal and 
sent a copy to Rev. Samuel Cooper, his confidential corre- 
spondent hi Boston. The secretary's speech was tart, and his 
manner testy. The conversation is given in full in Vol. V, 
pp. 298-304, and it is unnecessary to repeat here more than 
the calm and satisfied comment of Franklin upon the inter- 
view. Hillsborough having refused to recognize Franklin as 

1 " At a Meeting of the Freeholders & other Inhabitants of the Town of 
Boston duly qualified & legally warned in public Town Meeting assembled 
at Faneuil Hall, on Thursday the 22 d . day of March, A.D. 1770. 

" VOTED that the Hon : James Bowdoin Esq. Dr : Joseph Warren & Samuel 
Pemberton Esq. a Committee appointed on the 13* Instant to make Repre- 
sentations of the late horrid Massacre in Boston by the Soldiery, be desired 
to transmit by the Packet to Benjamin Franklyn Esq. LL.D. a printed Copy of 
such Representations. 


" WILLIAM COOPER Town Clerk." 


the duly accredited representative of Massachusetts, Franklin 
withdrew, saying, "It is I believe of no great importance 
whether the appointment is acknowledged or not, for I have 
not the least conception that an agent can at present be of 
any use to any of the colonies. I shall, therefore, give your 
Lordship no further trouble." Hillsborough took great 
offence at these last words and characterized them as "rude 
and abusive." They were equivalent, he told one of Frank- 
lin's friends, to telling him to his face that neither favour nor 
justice during his administration could be expected by the 
colonies. "I find he did not mistake me," said Franklin. 

This new Hillsborough doctrine that no agent should be 
received except such as had been appointed by a regular 
act of the Assembly, approved by the governor, placed 
additional barriers between the colonies and the government 
of England. The agent could no longer transact the business 
of the people, save by the consent of a governor who might be 
opposed to the interests of the people. Moreover, it gave 
to the English minister the power, through his instructions 
to the royal governor, to prevent the appointment of any 
agents who might not be his pliant tools. Hillsborough 
stubbornly persisted in his interpretation of the colonial rela- 
tions and obtained a vote of the Board of Trade forbidding 
an agent who had been otherwise elected to appear before 
that body. In reference to this condition Franklin addressed 
the following open letter to Dennis de Berdt, the English 
agent for the Assembly of the Massachusetts Bay. 


" In the Gazetteer of Friday, Aug. 26, you have [been so 
obliging as to inform us, that the Report insinuating that the 
Earl of Hillsborough had neglected to deliver a Petition from 


the Assembly of the Massachusetts Bay to his Majesty, was 
groundless, his Lordship not having even seen the Petition at 
the time of such Report. 

" We are very subject to be impos'd on by Reports espe- 
cially such as convey any Reflection upon Ministers, an 
Order of Men of whom we have not generally the best Opin- 
ion. It is therefore kind to us as well as to them, to set us 
right when we are misled. And as such Reports are generally 
varied according to the Ignorance or Malice of the Reporters, 
it would be well if all their Variations could be answered with 
a Clearness equal to yours in that above mentioned. 

" Now since it must be as much hi your Power, we hope and 
trust you will be as ready to refute this, 'That his Lordship 
having had from Governor Barnard an Account of the Pur- 
port of the Assembly's Petition, refused to receive it from you 
on a Distinction newly started, to wit, that you were not a 
regularly appointed Agent, being authoris'd only by the 
Assembly, to transact their Business here, the Governor not 
having consented to your Appointment.' We would just 
observe that this state of the Report is more probable than the 
other, it being as unlikely that his Lordship should neglect 
to present a Petition he had once received, as it is that you 
would neglect to offer it to him. 

"We are Sir, Yours, etc. 


"P. S. Excuse us if we add, that tho' we have no right 
to ask what the Reasons were, that, in your Letters of March 
last, you gave to the Assembly, for not proceeding with their 
Petition ; yet, as in their Message to the Governor of June the 
30 th when they had probably received those Letters, they say, 


'it had been revealed there that the late Provincial Applica- 
tions for Redress of Grievances had been somehow strangely 
obstructed? And as the Assembly of Maryland, in their 
Message to their Governor, hint at ' an Attempt in some of 
his Majesty's Ministers to prevent the Supplications of 
America from reaching the Royal Ear'; we own it would 
be extreamly agreable to us to be rightly informed in this 
important Affair: And if you are, as we believe you are, 
more desirous of obliging the Publick, and serving your 
Constituents, than of screening a Minister, we doubt not you 
will give us all reasonable Satisfaction." 1 

Franklin had now intrusted to him the affairs of four 
colonies, but he could do little more than attempt to mould 
public opinion by letters to the newspapers, and to keep the 
colonists informed of the changes and tendencies of English 
parties and politics. He wrote solemnly to the Committee 
of Correspondence in Massachusetts (May 15, 1771), "I 
think one may clearly see the seeds sown of a total disunion of 
the two countries, though, as yet, that event may be at a 
considerable distance." He foresaw that the British nation 
and government would become odious, and the subjection 
to it intolerable ; that war would ensue, ending in the probable 
ruin of Britain by the loss of her colonies. " But as the whole 
empire must, in either case, be greatly weakened, I cannot 
but wish to see much patience and the utmost discretion in our 
general conduct, that the fatal period may be postponed, and 
that, whenever this catastrophe shall happen, it may appear 
to all mankind, that the fault has not been ours." * With 
such gloomy forebodings Franklin lived in 1771. Great 

1 From the rough draft in A. P. S. * See Vol. V, p. 318. 


empires, he reminded Lord Chatham, have always crumbled 
at their extremities, and the apprehension of this dissolution 
was now settling in his mind into conviction. 

In the spring of 1771, he visited the manufacturing towns of 
England, and called upon Priestley at Leeds, Dr. Percival 
at Manchester, Erasmus Darwin at Litchfield, and Dr. 
Brownrigg in Cumberland. In July and August he spent 
three weeks at Twyford in Hampshire, at Chilbolton, the 
residence of Jonathan Shipley, the Bishop of St. Asaph. It 
was during this sojourn that he began, in a room that was 
ever after known by the family as Franklin's room, the famous 
"Autobiography." Provided with letters of introduction 
from "the good Bishop," he set out August 20, 1771, with his 
old friend, Richard Jackson, to visit Ireland. He was received 
in that country "by both parties, the courtiers and the patriots ; 
the latter treating him with particular respect." Entertained 
by "gentlemen, extremely opulent, living in the highest 
affluence and magnificence," he was chiefly impressed by the 
poor tenants living in sordid wretchedness in dirty hovels of 
mud and straw, and clothed only in rags. " Had I never been 
in the American colonies," he wrote to Joshua Babcock, 1 
"but were to form my judgment of civil society by what I 
have lately seen, I should never advise a nation of savages to 
admit of civilization ; for I assure you, that, in the possession 
and enjoyment of the various comforts of life, compared to 
these people, every Indian is a gentleman, and the effect of 
this kind of civil society seems to be, the depressing multitudes 
below the savage state, that a few may be raised above it." 

Franklin met accidentally with Lord Hillsborough at the 
lord-lieutenant's in Dublin. The secretary was surpris- 

1 January 13, 1772. 


ingly civil and pressed Franklin and his companions to call 
upon him at Hillsborough. Franklin complied with the 
invitation, and spent four days at his country-house. Hills- 
borough entertained him with great civility and said that he 
had always been of opinion that America ought not to be re- 
strained in manufacturing anything she could manufacture to 
advantage. He ordered his eldest son, Lord Kilwarling, to 
drive him a round of forty miles that he might see the country, 
the seats, and manufactures. His attentions were inexplicable 
to Franklin, but on the supposition that he apprehended an 
approaching storm, and was desirous of lessening before- 
hand the number of enemies he had so imprudently created. 
It was Franklin's desire to see some of the principal Irish 
patriots ; he therefore stayed in Dublin until the opening of 
the Irish Parliament. He found them disposed to be friends 
of America in which he endeavoured to confirm them. Rich- 
ard Jackson being a member of the English Parliament, was 
admitted, in accordance with custom, to sit in the House 
among the members. Franklin was about to proceed to the 
gallery when the Speaker acquainted the House that an 
American gentleman of distinguished character and merit, 
a member of some of the Parliaments of that country, was 
desirous of being present at the debates of the House; that 
he supposed the standing rule of the House for admitting 
members of English Parliaments would apply also to American 
Assemblies, but, as this was the first instance he would ask 
for the directions of the House. "On the question, the 
House gave a loud, unanimous Ay; when two members 
came to me without the bar, led me in between them, and 
placed me honourably and commodiously." l 

! To William Franklin, January 30, 1772. 


Seven weeks Franklin stayed in Ireland, and then pro- 
ceeded to Scotland for a further sojourn of four weeks. He 
spent five days with Lord Kames at Blair Drummond, near 
Stirling, two or three days at Glasgow, two days at Carron 
Iron Works, and the rest of the month in Edinburgh, lodging 
with David Hume. His old acquaintances, Sir Alexander 
Dick, Drs. Robertson, Cullen, Black, Ferguson, Russel, and 
others renewed the civilities with which they had received 
him on his first joyous visit to the "Athens of the North." 

Returning into England, he turned aside at Preston, in 
Lancashire, to meet his son-in-law, Richard Bache, whom 
he had not before seen. He was favourably impressed with 
Mr. Bache's "agreeable behaviour," and pleased that his 
mother and sisters were "genteel and agreeable people." 1 

The three months of travelling in countries new to him, 
and of social diversion among friends old and dear to him 
had been delightfully refreshing, but when once more in 
London, in January, 1772, he grew restless and impatient 
under the enforced inactivity of his position. He grew 
homesick, and apprehensive of the approach of some of the 
infirmities of age. Death seemed not far distant, and some 
important business affairs beckoned him back to the dear 
country from which he had so long been in a state of exile. 
His spirits rose again with the resignation from office of Lord 
Hillsborough, "the omniscient and infallible minister," and 
the succession to the secretaryship of Lord Dartmouth who 
had always expressed great regard for Franklin and friend- 
ship for America. In the getting rid of Hillsborough Franklin 
played a leading part. In 1766 a company had been formed, 
in which William Franklin, Joseph Galloway, Colonel 

1 Sarah Franklin was married to Richard Bache, October 29, 1767. 


Croghan, Samuel Wharton, and Sir William Johnson were 
interested, to purchase lands of the French west of the Alle- 
ghany Mountains and to establish a new colony there. The 
plan of purchasing the lands was soon abandoned, and the 
company, consisting of twelve Americans and certain Eng- 
lishmen "of character and fortune," recommended by Dr. 
Franklin, applied to the crown for a tract of land between the 
Alleghanies and the Ohio River. At Franklin's request 
Thomas Walpole, a wealthy financier, became the head of 
the enterprise, and the territory was, in consequence, known 
as "Walpole's Grant." Franklin urged it as one means of 
saving expense in supporting the outposts, enumerated among 
its advantages the furnishing provisions cheaper to the 
garrisons, securing the country, retaining the trade, and 
"raising a strength there, which on occasion of a future war 
might easily be poured down the Mississippi upon the lower 
country, and into the Bay of Mexico, to be used against Cuba 
or Mexico itself." The petition was referred to the Board 
of Trade where it lay inactive for five years. Hillsborough 
was president of the Board of Trade and was secretly opposed 
to the grant. To Mr. Walpole and Dr. Franklin when they 
asked for two million five hundred thousand acres, he said, 
"Ask for enough to make a province," whereupon Franklin 
calmly asked for twenty-three million acres. The report of 
the Board of Trade, drawn up by Lord Hillsborough, 1 opposed 
the grant on the ground that "if a vast territory be granted 
to any set of gentlemen who really mean to people it, and 
actually do so, it must draw and carry out a great number of 
people from Great Britain, and I apprehend they will soon 
become a kind of separate and independent people and who 

1 See Vol. V, pp. 465 et seq. 


will set up for themselves; and they will soon have manu- 
factures of their own; that they will neither take supplies 
from the mother country nor from the provinces at the back 
of which they are settled ; that being at a distance from the 
seat of government, courts and magistrates, they will be out 
of the reach and control of law and government ; that it will 
become a receptacle and kind of asylum for offenders who 
will flee from justice to such new country or colony." Frank- 
lin prepared an able and complete reply, 1 exposing the 
fallacies and follies in Hillsborough's report, and repeating 
the advantages that would flow alike to the colonies and to 
Great Britain. His answer was presented to the Privy Coun- 
cil, and the petition was approved. Hillsborough, mortified 
and offended by the action of the Council, tendered his resig- 

Lord Dartmouth succeeded Lord Hillsborough. He was a 
friend of Dr. Franklin, and it was believed that Franklin was 
instrumental in obtaining his appointment. At his first 
interview Franklin handed to Lord Dartmouth a petition from 
the Assembly of Massachusetts. Governor Hutchinson had 
been receiving his salary from the crown, an innovation 
indignantly resented by Massachusetts, and he had justified 
the measure in his speeches to the House, and had asserted 
the authority of Parliament over the colonies. The Assembly 
passed resolutions of censure and petitioned the king to 
correct these grievances. Dartmouth advised Franklin not 
to present the petition, that it could not possibly be productive 
of good, and that it would only offend his Majesty. Franklin 
asked if his Lordship had received any late advices from 
Boston. Dartmouth replied, "None since the governor's 

1 See Vol. V, pp. 479-527. 


second speech. But what difficulties that gentleman has 
brought us all into by his imprudence ! Though I suppose 
he meant well ; yet what can now be done ? It is impossible 
that Parliament can suffer such a declaration of the General 
Assembly, asserting its independency, to pass unnoticed." 
Franklin replied that in his judgement it would be better 
to take no notice of it. "Acts of Parliament are still sub- 
mitted to there. No force is used to obstruct their execution. 
. . . Violent measures against the province will not change 
the opinion of the people. Force could do no good." It was 
Dartmouth's opinion that force would not be thought of, but 
perhaps an act might be passed to lay the colonies under 
some inconveniences till they rescinded that declaration. 
Could they not withdraw it ? Franklin replied that such an 
act would only put the colonies on some method of incom- 
moding England till the act were repealed, "and so we shall 
go on injuring and provoking each other, instead of cultivat- 
ing that good will and harmony so necessary to the general 

"He said that might be, and he was sensible our divisions 
must weaken the whole; 'for we are yet one empire? said he, 
'whatever may be the sentiments of the Massachusetts 
Assembly'; but he did not see how that could be avoided,- 
He wondered, as the dispute was now of public notoriety.^ 
Parliament had not already called for the dispatches; and 
he thought he could not omit much longer the com- 
municating them, however unwilling he was to do it, 
from his apprehension of the consequences. 'But what,' 
his Lordship was pleased to say, 'if you were in my 
place, would or could you do? Would you hazard the 
being called to account in some future session of Par- 
VOL.X s 


liament, for keeping back the communication of dispatches 
of such importance?' 

"I said, 'his Lordship could best judge what, in his situa- 
tion, was fittest for him to do; I could only give my poor 
opinion with regard to Parliament, that, supposing the dis- 
patches laid before them, they would act most prudently 
in ordering them to lie on the table, and take no further 
notice of them. For were I as much an Englishman as I 
am an American, and ever so desirous of establishing the 
authority of Parliament, I protest to your Lordship I cannot 
conceive of a single step the Parliament can take to increase 
it, that will not tend to diminish it ; and after abundance of 
mischief they must finally lose it.'" The remainder of this 
very interesting interview is reported hi full by Franklin in his 
letter to Thomas Gushing, May 6, 1773. 

We are now approaching the critical event in the life of 
Franklin that rendered impossible the further maintenance of 
his mediatorial position between England and the colonies. 
It was the famous affair of the Hutchinson letters, one of the 
commonplaces of American history. Certain letters written 
by Thomas Hutchinson, royal governor of Massachusetts, 
to friends in England, in which he recommended the sending 
to America of troops and men of war, and advised the govern- 
ment that in the colonies "there must be an abridgement of 
what are called English liberties," fell into the hands of 
Franklin. How he became possessed of them remains a 
mystery. The source was undivulged by him. In the 
elaborate "Tract relative to the Affair of Hutchinson's Let- 
ters," 1 which he wrote in 1774, Franklin said that in the 
latter part of 1772 he was speaking with some resentment to 

1 See Vol. VI, pp. 258-289. 


| "a gentleman of character and distinction," about the send- 

ing of troops to Boston and their behaviour to the people there, 
and expressing the infinite uneasiness it gave him to learn that 
it was considered there as a national measure, and as a proof 
that Britain had no longer a parental regard for the colonists. 
The gentleman assured him that this offensive measure and 
all the other grievances did not originate with the ministry 
or even in England, but that they were "projected, proposed 
to Administration, solicited and obtained by some of the most 
respectable among the Americans themselves, as necessary 
measures for the welfare of that country." Franklin doubted 
the probability of such a statement, whereupon the gentleman 
undertook to convince him, and through him his country- 
men. Some days later he called upon Franklin and pro- 
duced a budget of letters from Governor Hutchinson, Secre- 
tary Oliver, and others. The address of the letters had been 
removed, but they were said to have been written to William 
Whately, a recently deceased member of Parliament, and 
were evidently intended to influence Mr. Grenville and his 
party. 1 Six of the letters were written by Hutchinson, four 
by Oliver, and the other three by Robert Auchmuty, Charles 
Paxton, and Nathaniel Rogers. They narrated events in 
Boston from June, 1768, to October, 1769. They described 
the people as factious and incendiary, recommended that the 
"officers of the crown be made, in some measure, indepen- 
dent of the people," that the people be punished and that the 
penalties be of another kind than mere penal duties, and that 
"there must be an abridgement of what are called English 
liberties." The billeting of troops in Boston and the depen- 

1 William Whately had been private secretary to Mr. Grenville and later 
had been appointed by him secretary to the lords of the treasury. 


dence of the Governor and judges upon the British govern- 
ment for their salaries were plainly recommended and solicited 
by the officials of Massachusetts. 

The holder of the letters refused to permit Franklin to 
make copies of them, but as it was his wish to convince the 
Americans as he had convinced their Agent, he, at last, 
allowed Franklin to send the original letters to Boston on con- 
dition that they should not be printed, that no copies should 
be taken of them, that they should be shown only to a few 
of the leading people of the government, and that they should 
be carefully returned. The first reference to the transmission 
of the letters is in a communication from Franklin to Thomas 
Gushing, dated December 2, 1772 : "On this occasion I think 
it fit to acquaint you, that there has fallen into my hands part 
of a correspondence that I have every reason to believe laid 
the foundation of most if not all, our present grievances . . . 
in confidence of your preserving inviolably my engagement, 
I send you enclosed the original letters, to obviate every 
pretence of unfairness in copying, interpolation, or omis- 
sion." Gushing showed the letters to Drs. Chauncy, Cooper, 
and Winthrop, to the Committee of Correspondence of the 
Massachusetts Assembly, and to a few other leading citizens. 
John Adams carried them on his circuit and showed them to 
whom he pleased. Franklin approved of the publicity given 
to them and wrote: "I have permission to let the originals 
remain with you as long as you may think it of any use. . . . 
I am allowed to say that they may be shown and read to whom 
and as many as you think proper." 

The Assembly met in June and listened to the reading 
of the letters. They resolved to petition the king to remove 
Hutchinson and Oliver from office. The petition was sent 


to Franklin and reached him about the time that copies of a 
pamphlet containing the letters arrived in England. They 
were published in the London newspapers and caused much 
inquiry as to the source from which they had been derived. 
Thomas Whately, the brother of the deceased recipient of the 
letters, fell under suspicion ; he himself believed that John 
Temple, formerly governor of New Hampshire, who had 
taken some of his own letters from among the Whately 
papers, had at the same time abstracted this American 
correspondence. A writer in the Public Advertiser (Decem- 
ber 8, 1772) charged Temple with having taken the letters 
dishonourably, and quoted Thomas Whately, well known as 
a London banker, as his authority. Temple immediately 
sought Whately, denied any knowledge of the letters, and 
demanded a public exoneration from him. The follow- 
ing day Whately published in the Advertiser a statement to 
the effect that Mr. Temple had asked permission to take back 
certain of his letters which existed among William Whately's 
papers. Permission had at once been granted. "He, and 
he only, had ever had access to any of the letters of my 
brother's correspondents in America." . . . "Mr. Temple 
assured me, in terms the most precise that (except some 
letters from himself and his brother, which he had from 
me by my permission) he had not taken a single letter, or 
an extract from any, I had communicated to him. I saw 
him twice afterwards on the same subject, and the same 
assurances were invariably repeated by him, and confirmed 
by him in the most solemn manner." The statement was 
not at all satisfactory to Temple. It seemed to him "strongly 
to corroborate the anonymous charge." Whately had omitted 
to state "what was wholly essential, that he did not know the 


letters in question were among those he put into my hands, 
and that none of those he had intrusted to me appeared to be 
missing." Thus given, as he thought, the lie direct, Temple 
challenged Whately. The challenge was borne by Ralph 
Izard of South Carolina, but as Whately in accepting it de- 
clined to name a second, the principals went alone to the field 
of honour in the morning of December n, 1773. Pistol 
shots were fired without effect, and the duel was then fought 
with swords, when Whately was twice severely wounded. 
Neither contestant was satisfied, the bad feeling continued 
and found expression in wild stories in the newspapers, and 
it was currently reported that as soon as Whately recovered 
from his wounds a second encounter would take place. 
Franklin had remained silent at the time of the duel, for his 
lips were sealed by the gentleman from whom he had received 
the letters and who had given him what Franklin deemed an 
important reason for desiring that his name should be con- 
cealed. When, however, he learned that the duel was to be 
repeated, he thought it time to interpose, and therefore wrote 
to the printer of the Public Advertiser (December 25, 1773), 
declaring that he alone was the person who obtained and 
transmitted the letters in question to Boston. They could 
not be communicated by Mr. Thomas Whately or by Mr. 
Temple, for they were never in the possession of either 

Some of his friends applauded his courage, others feared 
that he was imprudent and that the administration would 
resent his frank avowal of sending the letters. He read in one 
of the London papers that he was "one of the most deter- 
mined enemies of the welfare and prosperity of Great Britain." 
He entertained little fear of serious consequences to himself, 


and occupied himself seriously with the preparation for his 
departure to America to settle some business with the post- 
office there. The king, it was supposed, would consider 
in his cabinet the Massachusetts petition for the recall of 
Governor Hutchinson. Suddenly, as a bolt from the blue, 
he received notice from the Clerk of the Council that the Lords 
of the Committee for Plantation Affairs would meet at the 
Cockpit on Tuesday, January n, 1774, at noon, to consider 
the petition referred to them by his Majesty, and that his 
presence would be required. It was already Saturday. 
The time for consideration was brief. He sent for Arthur 
Lee, then a student of law in London, who had been chosen 
by the legislature of Massachusetts to succeed Franklin in the 
event of his absence or death. Lee was at Bath. Sunday 
morning he called upon Bollan, a barrister and London agent 
of the Council of Massachusetts. He found that Bollan had 
also received notice to attend the meeting at the Cockpit. 
It was Bollan's opinion that counsel should not be employed. 
Lee had not yet been called to the bar. Distinguished law- 
yers were fearful of offending the court and thereby jeopardiz- 
ing their prospects of promotion. Bollan would move to be 
heard in behalf of the Council of the province, and take occa- 
sion to support the petition himself. Very late on Monday 
afternoon Franklin learned that Israel Mauduit, agent for 
the governor and lieutenant-governor, had asked and obtained 
leave to be heard by counsel, and had retained Alexander 
Wedderbum, the solicitor-general. 

At the meeting on the following day the petition was read, 
and Franklin was called upon to speak in support of it. In 
accordance with their concerted plan, he stated that Mr. 
Bollan would speak to the petition. Objection was imme- 


diately made that Bollan was not a party to the petition. 
Several times he attempted to speak, but after repeated 
interruptions he was ordered to desist. Franklin then said 
that with the petition of the House of Representatives he had 
received their resolutions which preceded it, and a copy of the 
letters on which those resolutions were founded. These he 
offered in support of the petition. The Resolutions were 
read. Then occurred the following inquisition: 

"Mr. Wedderburn. The Address mentions certain papers; 
I could wish to be informed what are those papers. 

" Dr. Franklin. They are the letters of Mr. Hutchinson and 
Mr. Oliver. 

"Court. [Lord Chief Justice De Grey.] Have you brought 

"Dr. Franklin. No; but here are attested copies. 

"Court. Do you mean to found a charge upon them? If 
you do, you must produce the letters. 

"Dr. Franklin. These copies are attested by several 
gentlemen at Boston, and a notary public. 

"Mr. Wedderburn. My Lord, we shall not take advantage 
of any imperfection hi the proof. We admit that the letters 
are Mr. Hutchinson's and Mr. Oliver's handwriting ; reserv- 
ing to ourselves the right of inquiring how they were obtained. 

"Dr. Franklin. I did not expect that counsel would have 
been employed on this occasion. 

"Court. Had you not notice sent you of Mr. Mauduit's 
having petitioned to be heard by counsel, on behalf of the 
governor and lieutenant-governor? 

"Dr. Franklin. I did receive such notice; but I thought 
this had been a matter of politics, not of law, and have not 
brought my counsel. 


"Court. Where a charge is brought, the parties have a 
right to be heard by counsel or not, as they choose. 

"Mr. Mauduit. My Lords, I am not a native of that 
country, as these gentlemen are. I know well Dr. Franklin's 
abilities, and wish to put the defence of my friends upon a 
parity with the attack. He will not therefore wonder that I 
choose to appear before your Lordships with the assistance of 
counsel. My friends, in their letters to me, have desired, 
(if any proceedings, as they say, should be had upon this 
Address) that they may have a hearing in their own justifi- 
cation, that their innocence may be fully cleared, and their 
honour vindicated ; and have made provision accordingly. 
I do not think myself at liberty, therefore, to give up the 
assistance of my counsel, hi def ending them against this unjust 

"Court. Dr. Franklin may have the assistance of counsel, 
or go on without it, as he shall choose. 

"Dr. Franklin. I desire to have counsel. 

"Court. What tiihe do you want? 

"Dr. Franklin. Three weeks. 

"Ordered, that the further proceedings be on Saturday, 
29th instant." 

Wedderburn. "Although, to save your lordship's time, I 
have admitted these to be true copies of the original letters, 
I give notice that when the matter comes on again, I shall 
exercise the right to ask certain questions as how the Assem- 
bly came into possession of them, through what hands, and 
by what means they were procured." 

Court "Certainly; and to whom they were directed; 
for the perfect understanding of the passages may depend 
on that and other such circumstances. We can receive no 


charge against a man founded on letters directed to nobody, 
and perhaps received by nobody. The laws of this country 
have no such practice." 

Franklin proceeded at once to prepare his case. Several 
friends advised him to retain John Dunning, formerly 
solicitor-general and afterwards Lord Ashburton, the cleverest 
as he was the homeliest lawyer practising at the English bar. 
Franklin would have waited to consult with Arthur Lee, 
supposing that he might prefer his friend Sergeant Glynn, 
famous for his defence of John Wilkes. He was anxious, 
however, to learn Dunning's opinion as to his own conduct if 
questions should be asked of him concerning the history of 
the letters. Upon this point the great lawyer was clear that 
Franklin was not obliged to answer such questions against 
his will. He promised to attend the meeting and object 
to their putting such questions. 

Until the 2Qth of the month the papers continued to de- 
nounce Franklin as an incendiary, who should be dismissed 
from office and sent to Newgate. Mr. Lee, coming up from 
Bath, undertook to engage Sergeant Glynn who was "in a 
fit of the gout" and unable to attend. The counsel retained 
were Dunning and John Lee, afterwards solicitor-general 
under Fox. 

The little apartment in the Cockpit was crowded upon 
the 2 Qth of January. Thirty-five members of the Privy 
Council attended a number, Burke said, without precedent 
in his memory. The Lord President Gower sat at the head 
of the table. Among the distinguished personages were 
Lord North, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Shelburne, 
Edmund Burke, and the Americans Arthur Lee, Ralph 
Izard, and Dr. Bancroft. Among the interested onlookers 


were Jeremy Bentham and Joseph Priestley. The latter, 
who had got through the crowd that thronged the anteroom, 
upon the arm of Edmund Burke, said, in his account of the 
scene contributed to the Monthly Magazine in 1802, that 
Franklin stood in a corner of the room, without the least 
apparent emotion. Dr. Bancroft gave a slightly different 
account in a communication to William Temple Franklin : 

"Dr. Franklin did not 'stand in a corner of the room,' he 
stood close to the fireplace, on that side which was at the 
right hand of those, who were looking toward the fire; in 
the front of which, though at some distance, the members of 
the Privy Council were seated at a table. I obtained a place 
on the opposite side of the fireplace, a little further from the 
fire; but Dr. Franklin's face was directed towards me, and 
I had a full, uninterrupted view of it, and his person, during 
the whole time in which Mr. Wedderburn spoke. The Doctor 
was dressed in a full dress suit of spotted Manchester velvet, 
and stood conspicuously erect, without the smallest movement 
of any part of his body. The muscles of his face had been 
previously composed, so as to afford a placid, tranquil ex- 
pression of countenance, and he did not suffer the slightest 
alteration of it to appear during the continuance of the 
speech, in which he was so harshly and improperly treated. 
In short, to quote the words which he employed concerning 
himself on another occasion, he kept his 'countenance as 
immovable as if his features had been made of wood.' " 

The hearing began with the reading of Franklin's letter to 
Lord Dartmouth, 1 enclosing the petition, then the petition, 
the resolutions of the Assembly, and lastly the letters. Frank- 
lin's counsel, according to his opinion, "acquitted themselves 

1 August 21, 1773. 


very handsomely." Mr. Dunning stated that no cause had 
been instituted, and no prosecution was intended. The As- 
sembly appealed to the wisdom and goodness of his Maj- 
esty ; it was a favour they were asking, not justice that they 
were demanding. "As the Assembly had no impeachment 
to make, so they had no evidence to offer." Burke was im- 
pressed with the excellence of Dunning's address : his points 
were "well and ably put," Burke told Lord Rockingham. 
In his reply Wedderburn rehearsed what he called a history 
of the province for the previous ten years, bestowing liberal 
abuse upon the Assembly and the people of Massachusetts. 
Then turning upon Franklin he assailed him with ribald 
invective, so gross that large passages were omitted by the 
friends of Wedderburn when the address was published. 

It was a scene, as Lecky has said, well suited to the brush 
of an historical painter. For more than an hour Franklin 
stood, tranquilly, silently, before his malignant adversary, 
his coolness and apathy in striking contrast with the violence 
and clamour of the Scotch declaimer, while grave men 
clapped their hands in boundless amused delight at the bait- 
ing of the American. 

"The letters could not have come to Dr. Franklin," said 
Wedderburn, "by fair means. The writers did not give 
them to him; nor yet did the deceased correspondent, who 
from our intimacy would otherwise have told me of it. Noth- 
ing, then, will acquit Dr. Franklin of the charge of obtaining 
them by fraudulent or corrupt means, for the most malignant 
of purposes ; unless he stole them from the person who stole 
them. This argument is irrefragable. 

"I hope, my Lords, you will mark and brand the man, 
for the honour of this country, of Europe, and of mankind. 


Private correspondence has hitherto been held sacred, in 
times of the greatest party rage, not only in politics but 
religion." "He has forfeited all the respect of societies and 
of men. Into what companies will he hereafter go with an 
unembarrassed face, or the honest intrepidity of virtue? 
Men will watch him with a jealous eye ; they will hide their 
papers from him, and lock up their escritoires. He will 
henceforth esteem it a libel to be called a man of letters; homo 
TRIUM l literarum ! 

"But he not only took away the letters from one brother; 
but kept himself concealed till he nearly occasioned the 
murder of the other. It is impossible to read his account, 
expressive of the coolest and most deliberate malice, with- 
out horror." [Here he read the letter dated December 2$th, 
1773; Dr. Franklin being all the time present.] "Amidst 
these tragical events, of one person nearly murdered, of an- 
other answerable for the issue, of a worthy governor hurt in 
his dearest interests, the fate of America in suspense; here 
is a man, who, with the utmost insensibility of remorse, stands 
up and avows himself the author of all. I can compare it 
only to Zanga, in Dr. Young's Revenge. 

" ' Know then 'twas I ; 

I forged the letter, I disposed the picture ; 
I hated, I despised, and I destroy.' 

I ask, my Lords, whether the revengeful temper attributed 
by poetic fiction only, to the bloody African, is not surpassed 
by the coolness and apathy of the wily American?" 

Jeremy Bentham said of the orator's manner : " I was not 
more astonished at the brilliancy of his lightning, than as- 
tounded by the thunder that accompanied it. As he stood 

1 That is, FUR, or thief. 


the cushion lay on the council table before him ; his station 
was between the seats of two of the members, on the side 
of the right hand of the Lord President. I would not for 
double the greatest fee the orator could on that occasion have 
received, been in the place of that cushion; the ear was 
stunned at every blow ... the table groaned under the 
assault." Dr. Priestley said : "At the sallies of his sarcastic 
wit, all the members of the Council, the President himself 
not excepted, frequently laughed outright. No person be- 
longing to the Council behaved with decent gravity, except 
Lord North, who, coming late, took his stand behind the 
chair opposite to me." Burke and Shelburne were out- 
raged by the violence and vulgarity of the attack : the former 
spoke of it as "beyond all bounds and decency," and the 
latter wrote to Lord Chatham of Wedderburn's "most 
scurrilous invective" and of "the indecency of his behaviour." 

In leaving the room Franklin pressed Priestley's hand in a 
way that indicated much feeling. The next day (Sunday) 
they breakfasted together in Craven Street, when Franklin 
remarked upon the fortifying power of a good conscience, 
"for that, if he had not considered the thing for which he 
had been so much insulted, as one of the best actions of his 
life, and what he should certainly do again in the same cir- 
cumstances, he could not have supported it." 

On Monday morning Franklin received a letter from the 
secretary of the post-office, laconically informing him that 
the postmaster-general had "found it necessary" to dismiss 
him from the office of deputy postmaster-general in America. 
The expression, said Franklin, was well chosen, " for in truth 
they were under a necessity of doing it ; it was not their own 


However we may poise the cause in the scales of history, 
and however we may decide upon the merits of Franklin's 
part in the affair of the letters, it must always be remembered 
as the critical incident which converted Franklin into a 
stubborn opponent of the British government, and changed 
the American sentiment toward him from lukewarm admira- 
tion to inflamed respect, enthusiasm, and affection. 

It was the one cherished hatred of his life, and how deep 
the poisoned shaft had sunk into his soul we may perhaps 
infer from the well-authenticated story that four years later, 
when the treaty of alliance with France was signed, Franklin 
dressed himself for that day's historic achievement hi the 
same Manchester cloak of velvet which he last wore when he 
stood under the pitiless storm of Wedderburn's vituperation. 1 

It has often been said that the story of the cloak is a 
legend, and that it has no foundation in fact. The only error 
is in supposing that the suit was worn when the Treaty of 
Peace was signed. It was first told by Priestley, and verified 
by Dr. Bancroft. The following is the version given by the 
latter : " It had been intended that these treaties [commerce 
and eventual alliance with France] should be signed on the 
evening of Thursday, the 5th of February; and when Dr. 
Franklin had dressed himself for the day, I observed that 
he wore the suit in question ; which I thought the more re- 
markable, as it had been laid aside for many months. This 
I noticed to Mr. Deane; and soon after, when a messen- 

1 Horace Walpole was the author of a once famous epigram upon Wedder- 
burn and Franklin : 

" Sarcastic Sawney, swol'n with spite and prate 
On silent Franklin poured his venal hate. 
The calm philosopher, without reply, 
Withdrew, and gave his country liberty." 


ger came from Versailles, with a letter from Mr. Gerard the 
French plenipotentiary, stating that he was so unwell, from 
a cold, that he wished to defer coming to Paris to sign the 
treaties, until the next evening, I said to Mr. Deane, ' Let us 
see whether the Doctor will wear the same suit of clothes 
to-morrow; if he does, I shall suspect that he is influenced 
by a recollection of the treatment which he received at the 
Cockpit.' The morrow came, and the same clothes were 
again worn, and the treaties signed. After which, these 
clothes were laid aside, and, so far as my knowledge extends, 
never worn afterwards. I once intimated to Dr. Franklin 
the suspicion, which his wearing these clothes on that occa- 
sion had excited in my mind, when he smiled, without telling 
me whether it was well or ill founded. I have heard him 
sometimes say, that he was not insensible to injuries, but 
that he never put himself to any trouble or inconvenience 
to retaliate." 1 



THE tone of Franklin's comment upon English politics is 
noticeably changed after the scene in the Cockpit. He wrote 
to Joseph Galloway, deploring any approach to a closer 
union between the countries. He drew vivid contrasts be- 

1 In the diary of Dr. Benjamin Rush, the manuscript of which is in the 
possession of the Library Company of Philadelphia, occurs the report of a 
conversation between Silas Deane and Franklin as they went together to the 
signing of the treaty of alliance. " Why do you wear that old coat to-day? " 
asked Deane. " To give it its revenge ! " replied Franklin. 


tween the "extreme corruption prevalent among all orders 
of men in the old rotten state" of England, and the "glorious 
public virtue so predominant in the rising country" of 
America. He expressed a fear that England would drag 
the colonies after them in all the plundering wars which 
their desperate circumstances, injustice, and rapacity might 
prompt them to undertake. He wrote : " Here numberless 
and needless places, enormous salaries, pensions, perquisites, 
bribes, groundless quarrels, foolish expeditions, false accounts 
or no accounts, contracts and jobs, devour all revenue, and 
produce continual necessity in the midst of natural plenty. 
I apprehend, therefore, that to unite us intimately will only 
be to corrupt and poison us also. It seems like Mezentius's 
coupling and binding together the dead and the living, 

" ' Tormenti genus, et sanie taboque fluent es, 
Complexu in misero, longa sic morte necabat.' 

"However, I would try anything, and bear anything that 
can be borne with safety to our just liberties, rather than 
engage in a war with such relations, unless compelled to it 
by dire necessity in our own defence." l 

Josiah Quincy dined with Franklin, March 3, 1775, and 
had three hours' conversation with him, the substance of 
which he relates in his Diary. Franklin dissuaded from 
France and Spain and was emphatic that no step of great 
consequence, unless upon a sudden emergency, should be 
taken without advice of the Continental Congress. "Ex- 
plicitly, and in so many words, said that New England alone 
could hold out for ages against this country, and if they were 
firm and united, in seven years would conquer them. Said 
he had the best intelligence that the manufacturers were 

1 To Joseph Galloway, February 25, 1775. 
VOL. i T 


feeling bitterly, and loudly complaining of the loss of the 
American trade. Let your adherence be to the non-im- 
portation and non-exportation agreement, a year from next 
December or to the next session of Parliament, and the day 
is won." 

The same conviction is expressed in the following letter to 
his son : 


"London, June 3oth, 1774. 

"I hear a non-importation agreement is intended. If it is 
general, and the Americans agree in it, the present Ministry 
will certainly be knocked up, and their Act repealed ; other- 
wise they and their measures will be continued, and the 
Stamp Act revived. 

" The Scotch in resentment of the Parliament's refusing to 
lay an additional duty on foreign linen, or to give a bonus 
upon theirs, are entering into like agreements with regard to 
cloth and hats from England, and are setting up large 
manufactures of both, which will be an additional distress to 
manufacturers here. 

" I should be sorry if Ireland is included in your agreement, 
because that country is much our friend, and the want of 
flax-seed may distress them exceedingly, but your merchants 
can best judge. It can only be meant against England, to 
ensure a change of measures, and not to hurt Ireland, with 
whom we have no quarrel. 

" The Bill for laying duties on spirits and liquors imported 
into Quebec appoints three-pence a gallon in what is from 

1 From the original in the possession of the Earl of Leicester. Published 
in " Memoirs of the Marquis of Rockingham " (Albemarle), II, 299. 


Britain, six-pence on what comes from the West Indies, and 
twelve-pence on all from any part of North America, or any 
foreign country; so that after all our expense in helping to 
conquer Canada for this Crown, we are put on the footing 
of foreigners, in our trade with it. Will this, in a future war, 
encourage us to assist in more conquests?" 

While the great drama of politics was developing about 
him, and the action was hastening on perhaps to a stupen- 
dous catastrophe, Franklin still found abundant means to 
satisfy his craving for social life. He made acquaintances 
readily, and men of various occupations and professions 
were eager to know him and to profit by his astonishing 
stores of information and the alertness and versatility of his 
mind. He attended the literary evenings of Mrs. Montagu, 
and met Garrick at Lord Shelburne's country seat. He 
knew Benjamin West, Horatio Gates, Charles Lee, John 
Hawkesworth, Burke, Hume, Kames, Sir John Pringle, Dr. 
Fothergill, and Dr. Canton. He dined frequently with cer- 
tain scientists and liberal clergymen, who constituted what he 
was wont to call "the club of honest Whigs," at the London 
Coffee House in Ludgate Hill. With Richard Price he be- 
came acquainted at St. Paul's Coffee House ; Dr. Price was 
then preaching every Sunday morning at Hackney, at the 
meeting in the Gravel Pit field near the Church, and in the 
afternoon at three o'clock at Newington Green, whither 
Franklin and Sir John Pringle occasionally came to hear 
him. Another favorite dining place on Thursdays was at 
the Dog Tavern on Garlick Hill. Occasionally he sat down 
with the Society of Friends to the Cause of Liberty, at Paul's 
Head Tavern, Cateaton Street, where, upon the 4th of 


November, the Society drank to the landing of King William 
and to the Glorious Revolution. 

At home in Craven Street his friends kept him well pro- 
vided with good cheer. His wife sent him barrels of New- 
town pippins, casks of hickory nuts, and Indian meal, 
cranberries, and dried fish. William Franklin sent a keg of 
dried apples, Mrs. Holker supplied him with apple butter 
from Rouen, English friends sent him turkeys from Nor- 
wich, and a French acquaintance (O'Gorman, brother-in- 
law of La Chevaliere d'Eon) sent him a hogshead of the 
"right sort" of Burgundy. Craven Street overflowed with 
dainties. He shook the superflux to his friends, accompanied 
sometimes by graceful and witty notes like the following: 
"Dr. Franklin presents his respectful compliments to Lord 
Bathurst, with some American nuts ; and to Lady Bathurst, 
with some American apples ; which he prays they will accept 
as a tribute from that country, small indeed, but voluntary." 

The sons of American parents who came to him with 
letters of recommendation had the benefit of his counsel, 
always carefully and conscientiously given ; and if they were 
seeking education in Europe he assisted them in entering 
school or college. Young men who were going to Edinburgh 
to study were recommended by him to lodgings in the house 
of the blind poet Thomas Blacklock, who had accommoda- 
tions for eight young gentlemen. He obtained learned 
degrees at Edinburgh for deserving scholars in America, 
recommended candidates for the navy and East India Com- 
pany, and for afternoon preacherships at the Foundling Hos- 
pital. He provided the Library Company of Philadelphia 
with valuable books, and added to his own fast-growing 
collection with liberal purchases from Pankouke in Paris. 


The Society for Promoting the Culture of Silk in Penn- 
sylvania, organized as the "Filature," committed their adven- 
ture to the hands of Franklin, and sent him of the first year's 
product a quantity to be presented to the queen and to 
the Penn family. In the second year (1772) they sent him 
forty-five pounds of silk, saying, "We are sensible how much 
the promoters of the culture of silk are obliged to Dr. Franklin 
for the trouble he has taken in the business." 

He interested himself in many of the infant industries of 
the colonies, and always encouraged incipient manufactures. 
Calico printing and glass blowing engaged his attention; 
and when Samuel Noble, a tanner, in Philadelphia, sent 
him (November, 1771) a pair of soles ("to keep thy feet 
warm "), with a history of the leather from the time it was 
the hide of a steer on Carpenter's Island, Franklin replied 
after two years with a letter which shows at once his appre- 
ciation of American industry and his prompt and generous 
assistance of young artisans. 


London, Feby 4th 1774 

The Bearer, William Brown being bred to the Tanning 
Business, is desirous of trying his Fortune in America. He 
is well recommended to me as a sober honest and diligent 
young Man, If it may not be inconvenient to you to afford 
him Employment as a Journeyman, I shall consider it as a 
Favour to me. 
The Seles you were so kind as to send me have now been 

1 1 am indebted for this letter to the present owner, Mr. Franklin Noble 
of Brooklyn, a great-grandson of Samuel Noble. 


in Wear two Years, in common with others of this Country 
the best I could get being in Double Channel Pumps of half 
a Guinea a Pair; and yours appear to excel them in Firm- 
ness and Duration, I show'd them the other Day to Capt. 
Falconer, who can tell you that they are still very good. 
With much Esteem, I am, Sir 
Your obliged Friend & hum! Serv't. 


At this time he was in continual correspondence with 
learned men, and students of all the professions. 

Doctors and lawyers solicited his judgment upon medical 
and legal cases. I find in an English legal work, dated 1775, 
the opinion of Dr. Franklin touching that perpetually debated 
question of the legality of a marriage with a deceased wife's 
sister. The book is entitled, "The Legal Degrees of Mar- 
riage stated and considered, in a series of Letters to a Friend. 
By John Alleyne, 1 Esq.; Barrister at Law. The second 
Edition, corrected and enlarged; with an Appendix con- 
taining Letters from several Divines and others. London: 
Printed for J. Almon, in Piccadilly, 1775." Franklin's letter 
to the author appears in the Appendix (pp. 1-2) : 

Craven Street, I5th Oct. 1773. 


I have never heard upon what principles of policy the law 
was made, prohibiting the marriage of a man with his wife's 
sister, nor have I ever been able to conjecture any political 
inconvenience that might have been found in such marriages, 
or to conceive of any moral turpitude in them. I have been 
personally acquainted with the parties in two instances, both 

1 See Vol. V, p. 156. 


of which were happy matches, the second wives proving most 
affectionate mothers-in-law to their sisters' children; which 
indeed, is so naturally to be expected, that it seems to me, 
wherever there are children by the preceding match, if any 
law were to be made relating to such marriages, it should 
rather be to enjoin than to forbid them; the reason being 
rather stronger than that given for the Jewish law, which 
enjoined the widow to marry the brother of a former husband 
where there were no children, viz. that children might be 
produced who should bear the name of the deceased brother ; 
it being more apparently necessary to take care of the edu- 
cation of a sister's children already existing, than to procure 
the existence of children merely that they might keep up the 
name of a brother. 

With great esteem, I am, etc. 


I am indebted to Dr. S. Weir Mitchell for permitting me 
to publish a letter addressed to Dr. John Hawkesworth, the 
editor of "The Adventurer," which illustrates the intelligent 
interest he took in the art of medicine. 


LONDON May 8. 1772. 


Dining abroad yesterday, and not coming home till 12 at 
night I did not get your letter in time to answer it by the 
return of the post as you desired. 

Dr. MBride of Dublin some time since discovered that 
putrid flesh could not only be rendered sweet, but its firm- 
ness restored by immersing it hi Fix'd Air ; which is air that 


has made part of the solid substance of bodies, and is sepa- 
rated and set at liberty from them in their dissolution, or 
fermentation, or effervescence with other bodies. This air 
is not fit for breathing; flame is extinguished by it; and, 
taken into the lungs it instantly extinguishes animal life, but 
taken into the stomach is deemed salutary, as in Pyrmont 
water which contains much of it. Dr Priestley discovered 
that two fourths of the air, one produced by suffering dead 
mice to putrefy under glass, the other by the effervescence 
of chalk and water with a small quantity of acid or vitriol, 
in either of which airs living mice being put would instantly 
die, yet the two being mixed both become good common air, 
and mice breathe in it freely. From his own and Dr MB ride's 
Experiment (who thought Fix'd Air would prevent or cure 
the sea scurvy) he was persuaded it might be of use in mor- 
tification. But of this there has been only a single experi- 
ment. A Physician of his acquaintance at Leeds wrote to 
him while he was lately in town that a person dying as was 
thought of a putrid fever with all the symptoms of a mortifi- 
cation in the bowels had been suddenly relieved and re- 
covered by the injection of Fix'd Air as a clyster. These are 
all our present premises upon which you can judge as well 
as I how far one may expect the same Fix'd Air will be of 
service applied to a cancer, but, as you ask my opinion, as 
the case might be other wise desperate and we know of no 
danger in the trial I should be for trying it. I would first 
syringe the sore strongly with warm water impregnated with 
Fix'd Air so as to cleanse well the part. Then I would apply 
to it a succession of glasses filled with Fix'd Air, each glass to 
remain till the sore had absorbed the Fix'd Air contained in 
it. It would require a long description to explain the readiest 


methods of obtaining the air, applying it, and impregnating 
the water with it, and perhaps I would not make myself 
clearly understood. The best way is to show it which I will 
do either here or at Bromley if you desire it. 

Being ever my dear friend 

Yours most affectionately 


On the 2Oth of March, 1775, Franklin sailed in the 
Pennsylvania Packet, Captain Osborne, for Philadelphia. 
During the voyage he wrote an account of negotiations in 
London for effecting a reconciliation between Great Britain 
and the American colonies. 1 It is from this document that 
we derive the knowledge that we have of the relations existing 
between Franklin and Lord Chatham. In 1757 Franklin had 
sought the acquaintance of William Pitt, but that great 
statesman was then busied with foreign affairs of such mag- 
nitude that he could spare no time for the consideration of 
the petty particulars of a remote English province, and Frank- 
lin was obliged to admire him at a distance and to regard 
him as an inaccessible. He was flattered occasionally upon 
hearing from Lord Shelburne that Chatham had mentioned 
him as a person of respectable character, but they never 
met until August, 1774, when Lord Stanhope called for him 
and carried him to Hayes. 2 

He expressed to Chatham a hope that if his Lordship, with 
the other great and wise men of the British nation, would 
unite and exert themselves, the empire might yet be rescued 
out of the mangling hands of the present set of blundering 

1 See Vol. VI, pp. 318-399- 

2 Franklin was stopping at the time with Mr. Sargent, M. P., at Halsted, in 
Kent ; Lord Stanhope was at Chevining. 


ministers; and that the union and harmony between Britain 
and her colonies, so necessary to the welfare of both, might 
be restored. Chatham was particularly pleased to hear 
Franklin's emphatic assurance that America did not aim at 
independence, and they parted mutually satisfied. In 
December they met again, when Franklin had important 
news from America to impart to him. Congress had agreed 
upon a solemn petition to the king, "that your Majesty, as 
the loving father of your whole people, connected by the 
same bands of law, loyalty, faith, and blood, though dwell- 
ing in various countries, will not suffer the transcendent re- 
lation formed by these ties, to be further violated in uncer- 
tain expectation of effects, which, if attained, never can 
compensate for the calamities through which they must 
be gained." The colonial agents were instructed to pre- 
sent the petition to the king, and to publish it in the news- 
papers. 1 

1 How grave the colonists felt the situation to be may be inferred from 
the following letter from Charles Thomson to Franklin : 

"November i, 1774 
" SIR, 

" I have the honour to forward to you, the Address to the King and an 
Address to the people of Great Britain & these colonies. I was in hopes by 
this opportunity to have sent you the Journal of the proceedings of the con- 
gress which is in the press. 

" I hope administration will see and be convinced that it is not a little 
faction, but the whole body of American freeholders from Nova Scotia to 
Georgia that now complain & apply for redress ; and who, I am sure, will 
resist rather than submit. 

" When I look back and consider the warm affection which the Colonies 
had for Great Britain till the present reign, the untainted loyalty, unshaken 
fidelity & cheerful confidence that universally prevailed, till that time, and then 
view the present heartburnings, jealousies, gloom & despair, I am ready to ask, 
with the poet, ' Are there not some chosen thunders in the stores of heaven 
armed with uncommon wrath to blast those Men,' who by their cursed schemes 


The Massachusetts agents (Mr. Lee and Mr. Bollan) alone 
responded to Franklin's invitation to join him in presenting 
the petition. They called upon Lord Dartmouth and left it 
for his consideration. After some days they were notified 
that the secretary had kid the petition before the king, who 
was pleased to receive it graciously and would submit it to 
the consideration of Parliament. It came before Parliament 
along with a multitude of miscellaneous documents but with- 
out any word of recommendation. The agents requested in 
vain to be heard by counsel at the bar of the House of Com- 
mons. When at last it was read, it was assailed with bitter 
denunciation and contempt. Before the vote was taken, 
Franklin went to Hayes (December 26) to obtain Lord 
Chatham's sentiments upon the petition. The great states- 
man received him with "an affectionate kind of respect that 
from so great a man was extremely engaging." Congress, 
he said, had acted with so much temper, moderation, and 
wisdom, that he thought it the most honourable assembly of 
statesmen since those of the ancient Greeks and Romans in 
the most virtuous times. 

On the i Qth of January (1775), Franklin received a card 
from Lord Stanhope, acquainting him that Lord Chatham 
desired his presence hi the House of Lords on the following 
day, when it was his intention to make an important motion. 

At two o'clock on the morrow, Chatham met Franklin in 
the lobby, and saying, "I am sure your being present at this 
day's debate will be of more service to America than mine," 
led him to the entrance of the House. The great speech of 

of pol ; cy are dragging friend & brothers into the horrors of civil War & in- 
volving their country in ruin. 

. " Even yet the wound may be healed, & peace and love restored ; but we 
are on the very edge of the precipice." 


that day has been preserved but in meagre outline. The 
conclusion of it is famous: "If the ministers thus persevere 
in misadvising and misleading the king, I will not say, that 
they can alienate the affections of his subjects from his 
crown, but I will affirm, that they will make the crown not 
worth his wearing. I will not say, that the king is be- 
trayed, but I will pronounce, that the kingdom is undone." 
The motion, which was that General Gage should remove 
his Majesty's forces from the town of Boston, was rejected. 

Chatham continued to elaborate a plan of conciliation and 
again sent for Franklin to consult with him on the 2yth 
of January. The imperfect and incomplete Plan was 
read and discussed. Two days later Chatham called upon 
Franklin in Craven Street, and left with him a copy of the 
Plan desiring him to reflect upon it, and to communicate to 
him such remarks upon it as should occur to him. 

A copy of the Plan exists in six folio pages in Franklin's 
handwriting, in the Library of Congress. 1 At the end is a 
note in Franklin's hand: "The above Plan was offered by 
the Earl of Chatham to the House of Lords on Wednesday 
Feb. i, 1775 under the title of A Provisional Act for settling 
the Troubles of America, and for asserting the supreme 
Legislative Authority and Superintending Power of Great 
Britain over the Colonies ; but being oppos'd by the Ministry 
it was rejected by a great Majority the Members being for 
rejecting, 61 and for retaining 32, so it was not suffered to lie 
on the Table for further Consideration. Yet, when it is 
considered that in the Majority were all the Ministerial Lords 
with all the Scotch Lords and the Bishops who usually vote 
as the Ministers bid them, the Sense of the House, that is, 

1 See Force, 4th Series, I, 1504. 


the independent Part of it, does not seem to have been 
generally against the Bill." 1 

It was upon this occasion that Lord Chatham paid his 
extraordinary compliment to Franklin. Lord Sandwich had 
said that he could never believe the Plan to be the produc- 
tion of any British peer, and looking toward Franklin who 
was leaning on the bar, said he fancied he had in his eye the 
person who drew it up, one of the bitterest and most mis- 
chievous enemies that country had ever known. Chatham, 
in reply, assumed all responsibility for the document, but he 
made no scruple to declare that if he were the first minister 
and had the care of settling this momentous business, he should 
not be ashamed of publicly calling to his assistance a person so 
perfectly acquainted with the whole of American affairs as 
the gentleman alluded to, and so injuriously reflected on; 
one, he was pleased to say, "whom all Europe held in high 
estimation for his knowledge and wisdom and ranked with 
our Boyles and Newtons; who was an honour, not to the 
English nation only, but to human nature!" 

1 Among the Franklin papers (A. P. S.) is the following brief note from 
Pitt to Thomas Walpole : 

" Lord Pitt presents his Compliments to MT Walpole and, being at Hayes 
did not receive the honor of his obliging note, till Yesterday. Lord Chatham 
desires him to present his Compliments to Mf Walpole, and is much honor'd 
by his thinking of his health, which is better, tho' he still continues very much 
out of order. Lord Chatham also .desires me to express how sensibly he feels 
the Contents of the Extract communicated to him ; he is deeply touched by 
such a remembrance, and truly honor'd by so Authentick and Respectable 
a Testimony to his good Intentions. 

" HAYES Thursday March 6 th " 

The note is endorsed as follows : 

" Note received by Mr. Walpole in answ r to one from him communicat- 
ing an Extract of a Letter from me respecting Lord Chatham's Motion for 
Conciliatory Measures made Feb. 1775. B. Franklin." 


It is unnecessary here to enlarge upon the secret negotia- 
tions carried on from October, 1774, to March, 1775, between 
Franklin and the agents of the Ministry. The facts have 
been clearly and minutely recorded by Franklin (see Vol. VI, 
pp. 318-399). The chief mediators between the colonists 
and the crown were David Barclay and Dr. John Fother- 
gill, members of the Society of Friends. Mrs. Howe, sister 
of Lord Howe, with whom Franklin played chess and dis- 
cussed mathematical problems, brought Franklin and her 
brother together, and again Franklin did all in his power to 
reach some common ground of agreement. Howe urged 
him to form some plan of reconciliation that would be ac- 
ceptable to the Ministry, and assured him that if he could 
accomplish such pacification, he " might with reason expect 
any reward in the power of government to bestow." This, 
said Franklin, was to him "what the French vulgarly call 
spitting in the soup." 

Franklin drew up a plan, the sane propositions of which 
could not be accepted by a demented government, and 
agreed to accompany Lord Howe as his private secretary if 
his Lordship should be appointed commissioner to America. 
He even guaranteed without any assurance that he should 
be reimbursed, or his conduct approved, that the tea thrown 
overboard in Boston harbour should be paid for if justice 
should be granted to the colonies, "an engagement," he 
said, "in which I must have risked my whole fortune." 

Franklin reached Philadelphia, May 5, 1775. While he 
was upon the seas, the skirmishes at Lexington and Concord 
occurred. The land was in tumult. The morning after his 
arrival he was unanimously chosen one of the deputies of 
the Assembly of Pennsylvania to attend the Continental 


Congress. 1 Changes, too, the years had brought for Frank- 
lin's family. His new house, built nine years before but 
during his residence in London, was ready for his occupation, 
but the mistress of the house was dead. Deborah Franklin died 
of paralysis in December, 1774. In the winter of 1768-1769, 
she had suffered "a partial palsy in the tongue and a sudden 
loss of memory." She rallied from the shock though William 
Franklin wrote to his father that her memory appeared to be 
impaired. In 1771 he reported that "her memory has failed 
her much and she becomes every day more and more unfit 
to be left alone." 

In May of that year, Franklin wrote to her a letter which 
defines the financial arrangements that he made for his 
family during his absence. 


London, May i, 1771 

I wrote to you per Capt. Osborne, and have since received 
yours of Jan. 14, per Cousin Benezet, and of March 7, per 
the Packet. 

The Bill on Sir Alexander Grant for 30^ which you so 
kindly sent me inclos'd, came safe to hand. I am obliged too 
to Mr. Hall for enabling you on a Pinch to buy it. But I 
am sorry you had so much Trouble about it ; and the more 
so, as it seems to have occasioned some Disgust in you 
against Mess Foxcrofts for not supplying you with Money 
to pay for it. That you may not be offended with your 
Neighbours without Cause ; I must acquaint you with what it 
seems you did not know, that I had limited them in their 

1 Thomas Willing and James Wilson were chosen at the same time. 


Payments to you, to the Sum of Thirty Pounds per Month, 
for the sake of our more easily settling, and to prevent Mis- 
takes. This making 360 Pounds a Year, I thought, as you 
have no House Rent to pay yourself, and receive the Rents 
of 7 or 8 Houses besides, might be sufficient for the Main- 
tenance of your Family. I judged such a Limitation the 
more necessary, because you never have sent me any Account 
of your Expences, and think yourself ill-used if I desire it; 
and because I know you were not very attentive to Money- 
matters in your best Days, and I apprehend that your Mem- 
ory is too much impair'd for the Management of unlimited 
Sums, without Danger of injuring the future Fortune of your 
Daughter and Grandson. If out of more than 500^ a Year, 
you could have sav'd enough to buy those Bills it might have 
been well to continue purchasing them. But I do not like 
your going about among my Friends to borrow Money for 
that purpose, especially as it is not at all necessary. And 
therefore I once more request that you would decline buying 
them for the future. And I hope you will no longer take it 
amiss of Mess Foxcrofts that they did not supply you. 
If what you receive is really insufficient for your sup- 
port satisfy me by Accounts that it is so, and I shall order 

I am much pleased with the little Histories you give me of 
your fine Boy, which are confirmed by all that have seen 
him. I hope he will be spared and continue the same 
Pleasure and Comfort to you, and that I shall ere long partake 
with you in it. My Love to him, and to his Papa and Mama. 
Mrs. Stevenson too is just made very happy by her Daugh- 
ter's being safely delivered of a Son : the Mother and Child 
both well. Present my affectionate Respects to Mrs. Mont- 


gomery with Thanks for her most obliging Present. It 
makes a nice Bag for my Ivory Chessmen, I am, as ever, 
Your affectionate Husband 


I venture to add to this letter an example of Mrs. Franklin's 
epistolary style. Although written the year before her death, 
it is neither better nor worse than the other laboured products 
of her unwilling and unlettered pen. 


October ye 29, 1773 

MY DEAR CHILD: I have bin verey much distrest a 
boute you as I did not aney letter nor one word from you 
nor did I hear one word from oney bodey that you wrote to 
so I muste submit and inde [ ?] to submit to what I am to 
bair I did write by Capt Folkner to you but he is gon down 
and when I read it over I did not like t and so if this donte 
send it I shante like it as I donte send you aney news now 
I donte go abrode 

I shall tell you what Consernes my selef our youngest Grand 
son is the forced child us a live he has had the Small Pox and 
had it very fine and got a brod a gen. Capt All will tell you 
aboute him and Benj Franklin Beache, but as it is so dificall 
to writ I have deserd him to tell you, I have sent a squerel 
for your friend l and wish her better luck it is a very fine one 
I have had very bad luck they one kild and another run a 
way all thow they are bred up tame I have not a Caige as I 
donte know where the man lives that makes them my love 
to Salley Franklin my love to all our Cusins as thow menshond 

1 Miss Georgiana Shipley. 


remember me to Mr. and Mrs. Weste doe you ever hear any 
thing of Ninely Evans as was 

I thanke you for the silke and hat it at the womons to make 
it up but have it put up as you wrote [torn] I thonke it it 
is very prittey ; what was the prise ? I desier to give my love 
to every bodey [torn] I shold love Billey was in town 5 or 6 
day when the child was in the Small Pox Mr Franklin [torn] 
not sene him yit I am to tell a verey pritey thing about Ben 
the players is cume to town and they am to ackte on Munday 
he wanted to see a play he unkill Beache had given him a 
doler his mama asked him wuther he wold give it for a ticket, 
or buy his Brother a neckles he sed his Brother a necklas he 
is a charmm child as ever was Borne my Grand cheldren 
are the Best in the world Salley will write I cante write aney 

mor I am your a feckshone wife, 


The Continental Congress convened on the loth of May. 
Never had Franklin's time been more fully employed. "In 
the morning at six," he wrote to Joseph Priestley, "I am at 
the Committee of Safety, appointed by the Assembly to put 
the province in a state of defence, which Committee holds till 
near nine, when I am at the Congress, and that sits till after 
four in the afternoon." Twenty-five members served upon 
the committee. It was their duty to call the militia into active 
service, to pay and furnish them with supplies and to provide 
for the defence of the province. To meet their expenses 
bills of credit for thirty-five thousand pounds were issued and 
put into their hands. They prepared and executed plans 
for the defence of Philadelphia, erecting fortifications and 
constructing armed boats. Upon this committee Franklin 
served as chairman for eight months. 


Congress made provision for a new post-office establish- 
ment, and Franklin was appointed chairman of a committee 
of six to consider the best means of establishing posts for 
conveying letters and intelligence throughout the continent. 
The plan outlined by Franklin is that upon which the post- 
office of the United States is conducted at the present time. 
He was unanimously chosen postmaster-general, at a salary 
of one thousand dollars per annum. It was at this time that 
in franking letters he was wont to write "B free Franklin" 
instead of the original form "free, B. Franklin." 

He served with zeal and energy upon ten committees. He 
was head of the commissioners for Indian affairs in the 
middle department ; he was on the committee for engraving 
and printing continental money; on the committee to con- 
sider Lord North's conciliatory resolution in Parliament; 
on the investigation of the sources of saltpetre ; for employing 
packet-ships and disposing of captured vessels ; on a plan for 
protecting commerce ; and on the plan of treaties to be pro- 
posed to foreign powers. 

In July (1775), he prepared a sketch of a plan of permanent 
union of the colonies. Each colony was to retain its indepen- 
dence, but to be represented in an annual congress which 
should deal with all measures of resistance to injustice and 
oppression. Besides the thirteen already represented, Ire- 
land, Canada, the West Indies, Bermuda, Nova Scotia and 
Florida were to be invited to join. The plan was presented 
to Congress, but was not acted upon. 1 The original draft 
as drawn by Franklin is in The American Philosophical 

1 The plan of union was published in the Annual Register for 1775. The 
editor omitted " Ireland " from the list of colonies. 



Lords for the principal prov- 

Massachusetts Bay 
S. Carolina 

each I . . 20 
four j 

inces and Islands, as soon as 
found convenient, to be cre- 
ated by the Royal Preroga- 
tive . 




New York I 

Each Province 4 Members . . 


Maf y land 1 three } ' ' ' ' 9 



Canada J 

Connecticutt } each \ 


E. & W. Jerseys J two j ' 


New Hampshire 
Nova Scotia 
Rhode Island 

-r . . , each 1 
Limerick }-.... 

Kilkenny ne > 


Lower Countries of 

each 1 
J- . . o 
one J 


North Carolina 

Dundalk 1 

(~rf*nrcn A 



East Florida 

Youghall j 

West Florida 

Galway 1 . , 

each 1 


Belfast \ \ ... 
1 one J 


Antigua each \ 

Londonderry J 

S? Christophers one / 


Bahamas ) \ 

And proportionate Numbers of 

Bermuda 1 

Lords to be elected by the 

Irish Lords from among them - 



New Foundland & St. Johns . . I 

Jr ecit in the whole 
American Commons . . . 


Dominica I 

Lords .... 


S' Vincent I I 

Irish Commons . . . 


Tobago J 

Lords .... 


Commons ... 50 


In September, with Thomas Lynch of South Carolina 
and Benjamin Harrison of Virginia, he was sent to Cambridge 
to consult with Washington relative to the military condition 
of the colonies, and to determine upon methods of supplying 
and governing the continental army. Order was to be 


brought out of chaos ; the army was unprepared for winter, 
clothing, fuel, provision, gunpowder, were imperatively needed. 
Ammunition was so scarce that at Bunker Hill there were 
but five rounds for each soldier. None knew so well as 
Franklin the inadequacy and unpreparedness of the army, 
yet the day before he set forth for Cambridge he wrote to 
Priestley in a tone of confident irony : " Britain, at the expense 
of three millions, has killed one hundred and fifty Yankees 
this campaign, which is twenty thousand pounds a head ; and 
at Bunker's Hill she gained a mile of ground, half of which 
she lost again by our taking post on Ploughed Hill. During 
the same time sixty thousand children have been bom in 
America. From these data Dr. Price's mathematical head 
will easily calculate the time and expense necessary to kill us 
all, and conquer our whole territory." 

The conference at the camp of General Washington began 
October the eighteenth and continued four days. It was 
agreed that an army of twenty-six regiments should be 
raised, and that preparations should be made for recruiting. 
Rules were made for selling prize ships, and for exchanging 
prisoners, and methods of raising from among the colonies 
the money necessary for paying the troops were determined 

A secret committee was appointed November 29, 1775, 
"to correspond secretly with friends in Great Britain, Ire- 
land, and other parts of the world." Benjamin Franklin, 
Benjamin Harrison, John Dickinson, Thomas Johnson, and 
John Jay were immediately appointed upon the committee 
with full powers to employ confidential agents in Europe and 
to send such agents from America. The first business of the 
committee was the employment of Charles W. F. Dumas, a 


resident of The Hague, a man-of -letters, and a student of 
international law who had presented Franklin with his anno- 
tated edition of Vattel. Franklin wrote to him, enclosing a 
draft for two hundred pounds, as preliminary payment, and 
requested him to sound the foreign ambassadors at The 
Hague and ascertain if an alliance would be possible with 
any of the friendly powers. 1 Arthur Lee, in London, was 
addressed upon similar terms, and a strategic letter was sent 
to his Serene Highness, Don Gabriel of Bourbon, in the hope 
of striking some show of friendship from Spain. The letters 
were carried to Europe by Thomas Story. Large orders for 
arms and clothing were given to M. Penet, a French merchant, 
who departed for France, bearing with him other letters from 
Franklin, the most important of which was to Dr. Barbeu 
Dubourg, the translator and editor of Franklin's works. 

The next important act of the Committee of Secret Corre- 
spondence was the sending abroad of Silas Deane to treat 
with the French government. He was to seek out Dr. 
Dubourg upon his arrival in Paris and be presented by him 
to Count de Vergennes, the Minister of Foreign Affairs. He 
was to request the assistance and alliance of France, and 
promise that the American trade should be diverted from 
England to that country. He was to ask for clothing and 
arms for twenty-five thousand men, a quantity of ammunition 
and one hundred pieces of field artillery. He was to ask 

1 The letter was written by Franklin, December 9, 1775, and was approved 
and confirmed by John Dickinson and John Jay. It concluded : " As what 
we now request of you, besides taking up your Time and giving you Trouble 
may put you to some Expence we send you, for the present, inclosed, a Bill 
of two hundred pounds sterling to defray such Expences, and desire you to 
be assured that your services will be considered and honourably rewarded by 
the Congress." Dumas was to sign his letters " L'Ami des Col," or " L'Habi- 
tant de 1' Academic de Leyde." 


convoy for these articles and for the Indian goods he was 
instructed to purchase. Forty thousand pounds' worth of 
tobacco and rice were despatched to the ports of France so 
that he might be furnished with the means of paying for his 
purchases. Secrecy was maintained with great caution and 
mystery. The correspondence between the committee and 
their agent was to be upon specially prepared paper, written 
upon with invisible ink. 

These manifold activities might have seemed a heavy tax 
upon one man, but fresh burdens were soon to be fastened 
upon Franklin. In the spring of 1776, he was appointed 
one of three commissioners to go to Canada, a long and 
laborious journey for one who was then seventy years of age. 
His fellow-travellers were Samuel Chase and Charles Carroll, 
his fellow-commissioners, and the Rev. John Carroll, a 
Jesuit priest, afterward Archbishop of Baltimore, who was 
requested to accompany them because of the influence he 
might be expected to have over the Roman Catholics of 
Canada. The purpose of the commission was to promote 
or form a union between the colonies and the people of 
Canada. Montreal was reached April 29 after a journey 
of twenty-seven days. 1 Franklin lodged hi "the best built 
and the best furnished house in the city." It belonged to 
Thomas Walker, an English merchant, who was an active 
sympathizer with the colonies. 

The Canadians would have nothing to do with the very 
doubtful experiment of joining the colonies. The commis- 
sioners tried in vain to borrow money for the needs of the 
army. Franklin was suffering from the severity of the 

1 See " Diary of Charles Carroll," edited by Colonel Brantz Mayer, in 
Transactions of the Maryland Historical Society, Vol. I. 


weather, and after a fortnight in Montreal returned in com- 
pany with Dr. John Carroll, reaching Philadelphia in June. 
On the morning of his departure Franklin wrote the follow- 
ing letter which was signed by the other commissioners. 

Montreal II th May 1776 


We desire that you will shew to Mrs. Walker every civility 
in your power and facilitate her on her way to Philadelphia ; 
the fear of cruel treatment from the enemy on account of 
the strong attachment to, and zeal of her husband in the cause 
of the united Colonies induces her to depart precipitately 
from her home; & to undergo the fatigues of a long and 
hazardous journey. We are sorry for the occasion of writing 
this letter & beg your attention to alleviate her distress; 
your known politeness and humanity, we are sensible, without 
this recommendation from us, would prompt you to perform 
the friendly office. We are with great esteem & sincere 
regard for yourself & family 

D r Sir Your affectionate hum Serv to 
CH. CARROLL of Carrollton 


1 Thomas Walker had been accused of defacing the bust of George III in 
Place d'Armes, Montreal. A string of potatoes for a rosary was found one 
morning in 1775 about the neck of the bust with an inscription, " Voici le , 
Pape du Canada et de Sot des Anglais." Some persons in Montreal, offended 
by his rebellious speeches, entered his house at night and mutilated him by 
cutting off an ear. Franklin suddenly resolved to accompany the fair and 
" precipitate " Mrs. Walker, and on the score of ill health left his fellow-com- 
missioners to pursue their ineffectual task in Canada. How little pleasure he 
had in the companionship of Mrs. Walker, who taunted him cruelly upon the 
ill success of his mission, may be learned from Franklin's letter to the com- 
missioners. See Vol. VI, p. 448. 

The original of the above letter, which was probably addressed to General 


He was in time to take part in the historic proceedings 
which have made the 4th of July a day of imperishable 
memories. The Committee of Safety had recommended the 
election of delegates to a conference. Franklin was one 
of the twenty-five chosen by Philadelphia. The conference 
sat in Philadelphia from June 18 to 23, forswore al- 
legiance to the king of England, and vowed obedience 
to Congress, and provided for the election of delegates 
from Philadelphia to meet in convention and form a con- 
stitution. Franklin was chosen one of the eight delegates 
from Philadelphia. The Declaration of Independence was 
drafted by Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, John 
Adams, Robert R. Livingston, and Roger Sherman. It is 
well known that when John Hancock said, as they were about 
to sign the document, "We must be unanimous; we must all 
hang together," Franklin replied, "We must indeed all 
hang together, or, most assuredly, we shall all hang sepa- 
rately." 1 

John Adams wrote to his wife: "Dr. Franklin will be 
governor of Pennsylvania ! The new members from this 
city are all in this taste chosen because of their inflexible 
zeal for Independence. All the old members left out because 
they opposed Independence, or were lukewarm about it, 
Dickinson, Morris, and Allen all fallen like grass before the 
scythe, notwithstanding all their vast advantages in point 
of fortune, family, and abilities." On the 8th of July 

Scbuyler, is now in the council room of the Chateau de Ramezay, Montreal, 
which was the headquarters of the commissioners, and the place where the 
letter was written. The house in which Franklin lodged was demolished to 
make room for the extension of the Bonsecours Market. It stood at the 
corner of Jacques Cartier Square and Notre Dame Street. 
1 See also Vol. I, p. 38. 


Franklin was elected president of the Constitutional Con- 
vention, and on the 2oth was chosen by that body a 
member of Congress by the highest number of votes cast 
for any candidate. When the Convention adjourned, they 
adopted unanimously the following resolution, "That the 
thanks of this Convention be given to the President for the 
honour he has done it by filling the chair during the debates 
on the most important parts of the bill of rights and frame 
of government, and for his able and disinterested advice 

Lord Howe and his brother, General William Howe, were 
appointed joint commissioners to bring about a reconcilia- 
tion with the colonies. Lord Howe's fleet of one hundred 
and twenty sail reached New York early in July, 1776. An 
exchange of letters immediately took place between Franklin 
and the admiral. 1 The " Declaration " issued by the latter, 
stating his powers to grant pardons, etc., was sent to Wash- 
ington, who transmitted it to Congress. That body directed 
it to be printed in the newspapers, "that the few who still 
remain suspended by a hope founded either in the justice 
or moderation of their late King, may now at length be con- 
vinced that the valour alone of their country is to save its 
liberties." No other notice was taken of the commissioners. 
Military operations began. The battle of Long Island was 
fought, and General Sullivan who fell into the hands of the 
British was paroled and sent to Philadelphia to ask Congress 
to name representatives to treat with the British commission- 
ers. Congress appointed Franklin, John Adams, and Edward 
Rutledge, a committee to ascertain from Lord Howe whether 
he had any authority to treat with persons authorized by 

1 See Vol. VI, p. 458 et seq. 


Congress for that purpose on behalf of America, and what that 
authority is, and to hear such propositions as he shall think fit 
to make respecting the same. 

Franklin wrote to Howe, naming the house on Staten Island 
opposite to Amboy, or the governor's house at Amboy, as 
places suitable for the rendezvous. Howe preferred the first 
named, and Franklin and his colleagues started September 
9 to keep the appointment. The admiral sent his barge 
to receive them and to leave an officer as a hostage. The 
committee took the officer back with them in the barge. 
Lord Howe met them at the landing and led them to a reno- 
vated room in an ancient stone house where they found an 
abundant collation of "good claret, good bread, cold ham, 
tongues, and mutton." Nothing satisfactory resulted from 
the conference. The committee reported to Congress, "Upon 
the whole it does not appear to your committee, that his Lord- 
ship's commission contained any other authority of impor- 
tance than what is expressed in the act of Parliament, namely, 
that of granting pardons, with such exceptions as the commis- 
sioners shall think proper to make, and of declaring America, 
or any part of it, to be in the King's peace, upon submission." * 

1 "Lord Howe was profuse in his expressions of gratitude to the State 
of Massachusetts for erecting a marble monument in Westminster Abbey 
to his elder brother, Lord Howe, who was killed in America in the last French 
war, saying, ' he esteemed that honour to his family above all things in this 
world. That such was his gratitude and affection to the country on that 
account that he felt for America as for a brother, and if America should fall, 
he should feel and lament it like the loss of a brother.' Dr. Franklin, with 
an easy air and a collected countenance, a bow, a smile, and all that naivete 
which sometimes appeared in his conversation, and is often observed in his 
writings, replied, ' My Lord, we will do our utmost endeavours to spare your 
Lordship that mortification.' His Lordship appeared to feel this with more 
sensibility than I could expect ; but he only returned, ' I suppose you will 
endeavour to give us employment in Europe.' " " The Life and Works of 
John Adams," Vol. Ill, p. 79 ; and see also " Life of Josiah Quincy," p. 414. 



rf^sL)/^ 1 N 


JOHN JAY related a strange incident which occurred in 
November, 1775.* An old gentleman of French appearance, 
lame, and with a military bearing, appeared in Philadelphia 
and promised to Congress the assistance of Louis XVI. 
"Gentlemen," said the mysterious foreigner, "if you want 
arms, you shall have them; if you want ammunition, you 
shall have it ; if you want money, you shall have it." Of all 
these things the Congress had urgent need, but it was also 
necessary that they should know the name and credentials of 
the envoy who promised so liberally. In answer to such 
inquiries he drew his hand with a significant gesture across 
his throat, and said, "Gentlemen, I shall take care of my 
head." Nothing further was learned of him, and in another 
day he had vanished from Philadelphia, rather than removed 
in any bodily sense. 

Many were convinced that he was really an emissary of the 
French government. Help was eagerly and confidently looked 
for from abroad. Spam, Holland, and France were unsleeping 
enemies of Great Britain. Congress was prepared to believe 
that France would welcome an opportunity to loosen the 
ties between America and England. A committee of secret 
correspondence was appointed, and Franklin penned letters 
to his liberal friends in England, to a grandee in Spain, a 
physician in Paris, and a lawyer at The Hague. Silas Deane 
was despatched to France with instructions drawn up by 
Franklin to engage in extensive business operations for the 
1 See " Life of John Jay," Vol. I, p. 39. 


benefit of the colonies. 1 Ten months passed away while the 
country tossed in nervous impatience, waiting for some word 
in answer to the letters, or for some sign from Silas Deane. 
The letter that then arrived, in September, 1776, from Dr. 
Barbeu Dubourg encouraged Congress to send an embassy 
to France. On the 26th of December they unanimously 
elected Franklin and Jefferson. The latter declined on 
account of the ill health of his wife, and Arthur Lee was 
chosen in his stead. Silas Deane was retained as the third 
commissioner. Turning to Dr. Rush who sat beside him, 
Franklin said, when the result of the balloting was announced, 
"I am old and good for nothing; but, as the store-keepers 
say of their remnants of cloth, 'I am but a fag end, and you 
may have me for what you please.' " His last act at home, 
before departing upon a journey from which it was probable 
he would never return, was to lend to Congress between three 
and four thousand pounds. 

He arrived hi France on the Reprisal 2 after a stormy 
voyage, beaten for thirty days by November gales. They 
brought in with them to Quiberon Bay two prizes, a brigantine 
laden with tar, turpentine, and claret, and another with a 
cargo of cognac and flaxseed. Franklin went ashore at 
Auray, in Brittany, so weakened by the voyage that he 
could scarcely stand, and on the 7th of December reached 
Nantes. His coming was unexpected, but he had friends in 
the city, and elaborate entertainment was at once prepared 

1 Deane arrived in France, June, 1776, and was in Paris on the 5th of 
July. He travelled by Bermudas and Spain, the route of greatest security. 

a A sixteen-gun ship, commanded by Captain Wickes. Franklin was ac- 
companied by William Temple Franklin (aged seventeen) the illegitimate son 
of William Franklin, and Benjamin Franklin Bache (aged seven), eldest son 
of Sarah (Franklin) Bache. 


for him. Lord Stormont, the British ambassador in Paris, 
wrote to Lord Weymouth (December n, 1776): "I learnt 
yesterday evening that the famous Doctor Franklin is arrived 
at Nantes, with his two grandchildren. They came on an 
American privateer, which took several English vessels in 
her passage. Some people think that either some private 
dissatisfaction or despair of success have brought him into 
this country. 1 I cannot but suspect that he comes charged 
with a secret commission from the Congress, and as he is a 
subtle artful man, and void of all truth, he will in that case 
use every means to deceive, will avail himself of the general 
ignorance of the French, to paint the situation of the rebels in 
the falsest colours, and hold out every lure to the ministers, 
to draw them into an open support of that cause. He has the 
advantage of several intimate connexions here, and stands 
high in the general opinion. In a word, my Lord, I look upon 
him as a dangerous engine, and am very sorry that some 
English frigate did not meet with him by the way." 

A second letter, written the next day (December 12) by 
Lord Stormont to the same correspondent, and marked 
"most confidential," read as follows: 

"I am forced to trouble Your Lordship with a few Words 
more. My suspicions with regard to Franklin are con- 
firmed. He came over in a Forty Gun Ship to give more 
Eclat to his Mission and was at Versailles last Night as I am 
positively assured. He pressed to be instantly rec d as a 
Minister from the Independent Colonies but in a Council that 
was held last Night upon the occasion, It was resolved 

1 A belief expressed by Franklin's old friend, Sir Grey Cooper, who wrote 

from New York (October 28, 1776), "The arch Dr. Franklin has lately 

eloped under the cloak of plenipotentiary to Versailles." 


to decline this for the present. He talks the Language I 
expected, represents the Affairs of the Rebels as being in the 
most flourishing Condition, says that General Howe never 
will dare to attack Washington and adds that the Hessians 
who were advanced before the Main Army had attacked, and 
had been repulsed with loss. It is not to be doubted that he 
will make France the Most insidious and tempting offers, 
and there is, I think, but too much Reason to fear that he will 
draw her into the Snare." 

Stormont corrected his error concerning the visit to De 
Vergennes in a letter of December the eighteenth. Half Paris 
believed that Franklin had gone at once to Versailles; but 
he tarried a fortnight at Nantes, while his presence in Europe 
continued to excite universal interest and curiosity. Madame 
du Deffand wrote to Horace Walpole: "The object of Dr. 
Franklin's visit is still problematical ; and what is the most 
singular of all is that no one can tell whether he is actually in 
Paris or not. For three or four days it has been said in the 
morning that he had arrived and in the evening that he had 
not yet come." l 

While the ministers with more or less success sought to 
persuade themselves that Franklin was seeking safety in 
selfish flight from a forlorn cause, statesmen, like Burke 
and Rockingham, were undeceived. "I persuade myself," 
wrote Burke, "that Franklin is come to Paris to draw from 

1 Deane wrote to the Committee of Correspondence that for a long time 
nothing had so occupied the minds of people as the arrival of Franklin. 
The prefect of police informed De Vergennes that a great sensation in Paris 
had been occasioned by the approach of Franklin, and that the departure of 
Beaumarchais had caused no less sensation. The public connected the two 
circumstances and found in the coincidence a proof that the insurgents had 
no desire for reconciliation. See Doniol, Vol. II, p. 101. 


that court a definitive and satisfactory answer concerning 
the support of the colonies. If he cannot get such an answer, 
(and I am of opinion that at present he cannot,) then it is to 
be presumed he is authorized to negotiate with Lord Stor- 
mont on the basis of dependence on the crown. This I take 
to be his errand : for I never can believe that he is come thither 
as a fugitive from his cause in the hour of its distress, or that 
he is going to conclude a long life, which has brightened every 
hour it has continued, with so foul and dishonourable flight." 

Lord Rockingham, replying to some correspondent who had 
communicated to him the news of Franklin's arrival, said : 
"In regard to this event I cannot refrain from paying my 
tribute of admiration to the vigour, magnanimity and deter- 
mined resolution of the Old Man. The horrid scene at a 
Privy Council is in my memory, though perhaps not in his. It 
may not excite his conduct. It certainly deters him not. 
He boldly ventures to cross the Atlantic in an American little 
frigate, and risks the dangers of being taken, and being 
once more brought before an implacable tribunal. The 
sight of Banquo's ghost could not more offend the eyes of 
Macbeth, than the knowledge of this old man being at 
Versailles, should affect the minds of those who were prin- 
cipals in that horrid scene. 

" Depend upon it he will plead forcibly. He has but to 
combat a degree of folly in a very few hi France. He is so 
armed with proofs of the facility with which France and Spain 
may now give a deadly blow to this country, that I can no 
longer enjoy the chief comfort I had in the reliance, that 
though the political conduct of this country was weak or 
infatuated beyond all bounds yet the Courts of France and 
Spain were still more weak and blind. 


"I am very curious to know what reception your information 
will meet from the Ministers. Inwardly they will tremble at 
it. They may appear to think slightly of the effects it will 
have. They will cherish a fond hope that France will not 
listen. In the mean time they will try to raise more and more 
indignation here against the Americans for this strong effort 
of application to France." * 

When his strength was somewhat restored, Franklin pro- 
ceeded to Paris, and entered the city at two o'clock in the 
afternoon of December 22. Dr. Barbeu Dubourg had al- 
ready sent cards to all his acquaintance to announce his com- 
ing. Beaumarchais, in the luxurious office of Hortalez & Co., 
the mysterious firm that was to finance the American Revo- 
lution, a harp by his hand, and a score book on the table, 
awaited an interview with the only man who was his equal in 
wit, courage, versatility and sagacity. Madame du Deffand 
immediately reported the news of his arrival to Horace Wai- 
pole, as the event of most sensational interest. He went at 
once to the ancient Hdtel d'Hambourg, in the rue de 1'Uni- 
versite", where Silas Deane lodged. Later, to escape the 
curious crowds that pressed about his doors, intruded upon 
various pretexts into his presence, and followed him with 
applause, whenever he walked abroad, he removed to Passy, 
where, in the H6tel Valentinois, a dependance of the luxuri- 
ous home of Le Ray de Chaumont, he found a quiet retreat 
where it was possible for him to command time for the de- 
spatch of public business, and the conduct of his incredibly 
voluminous correspondence with all the world. Chaumont 

1 Letter dated " Wectworth, Thursday night, December (1776)," published 
in "Memoirs of the Marquis of Rockingham" (Albemarle), 1852, Vol. II, 
p. 32. 



was Grand Maltre des Eaux et Forets de France and 
Intendant Honoraire des Invalides. He was rich and oc- 
cupied the Chateau of Chaumont, on the Loire, and a 
house at Passy. 1 He was the close friend of the Due de 
Choiseul, his neighbour at Chaumont, and had declined 
his invitation to enter the Ministry, as he preferred to 
act as an intermediary between the commissioners and 

Everywhere Franklin was received with an abundant cor- 
diality, respect, and affection for which history furnishes 
scarcely a parallel. Every word he uttered was caught and 
pondered, and remembered; every action was studied and 
imitated. In him was the promise of better days and the 
augury of a more fortunate social order. 

On the 23d of December, the commissioners, giving 
themselves the title of plenipotentiaries, addressed their 
first official communication to the Count de Vergennes: 


We beg leave to acquaint your Excellency that we are ap- 
pointed and fully impowered by the Congress of the United 
States of America, to propose and negotiate a Treaty of 
Amity and Commerce between France and the said States. 
The just and generous Treatment their Trading Ships have 
received, by a free Admission into the Ports of this Kingdom, 
with other Considerations of Respect, has induced the Con- 
gress to make this Offer first to France. We request an 
Audience of your ExcellT wherein we may have an Oppor- 
tunity of presenting our Credentials ; and we flatter ourselves, 

1 John Locke was in Paris in 1679, and mentioned the H8tel da Chaumont 
among the twenty-four belles maisons best worth seeing in the city. 


that the Propositions we are instructed to make, are such as 
will not be found unacceptable. 
With the greatest Regard, we have the Honour to be, 
Your Excellency's most obedient 

And most humble Servants 


The audience was granted December 28. The commis- 
sioners were received with great respect. They presented 
their credentials and proposed the terms of a treaty of amity 
and commerce they desired to conclude with France. They 
asked the government to furnish Congress with eight ships of 
the line, for which Congress would pay in full. They received 
in reply good words cautiously uttered. De Vergennes com- 
plimented Franklin on his celebrity, and his knowledge, and 
spoke of the honour of seeing so distinguished a person, on an 
errand of the first consequence. 1 But he was fearful of a 
sudden rupture with Great Britain; he was not yet certain 
of the strength of the colonies. He assured the commissioners 
of the good-will and protection of the king, and desired them 
to submit their propositions in writing to M. Gerard de 
Rayneval, Secretary of the Foreign Office. 

The watchful Stormont gathered from his informants some 
inkling of the interview, and reported it in dreadful secrecy 
to Lord Weymouth : 

Paris Jany i". 1777 

9|6 3|C 5fC 9|C 5fC 3fC yfc 

Franklin, who came back from Versailles much dissatisfied, 

1 Paul Wentworth to the Earl of Suffolk, January 25, 1777. 


has since that time, made several endeavours, to be admitted 
to see M. de Vergennes, and I strongly suspect, did see him 
on Saturday last, I know at least that He, and Dean went to 
Versailles that day. M de Vergennes has affected to say, to 
several Persons, of late, that it would be impossible for him to 
refuse to see M r Franklin, as it was a General Rule with 
Ministers, to see and hear everybody. Franklin who is much 
at home, is, I am told, frequently visited by different Persons 
of the Choiseul Party, but particularly by M de Flainville. 
The Duke of Choiseul, Franklin, and Deane, met on Monday 
Evening, at a Ladys House of my acquaintance, and I 
am much inclined to believe, that the Meeting was not 

It is certain, that the Choiseul Party take Franklin by the 
Hand, openly espouse the cause of the Rebels, and Rail in all 
companies, at the Weakness of the present french Ministers, 
who say they, lose such an opportunity, of giving the Natural 
Rival, and enemy of France a Mortal Blow. Your Lordship 
sees that by this Means, Franklin will become an Instru- 
ment of Faction, which I hope will rather obstruct, than 
facilitate his Negotiations. The Language he Effects to 
hold, to his intimates, is, that he accepted this commission 
very unwillingly, that he told the Congress, that all he could do, 
was to go to France, and die there in their Service, that the 
stuff was almost worn out, but the last thread of it was at their 
Disposal. I purposely repeat all this, to shew your Lordship, 
the canting Tone he assumes. 

I cannot yet pretend to form any decisive Judgement, as to 
his success : My poor opinion is, that the present French Min- 
isters wish to wound, but are afraid to strike, and tho' the 
offers he makes, may tempt them, they will think twice, before 


they expose themselves, and their Country, to the Hazard of an 
unnecessary War; however this may be, I am persuaded, that 
it is on our constant Vigilance, at Home and uninterrupted 
Success in America that the Continuance of the public Tran- 
quillity, must ultimately depend. I am with the greatest 
Truth and Respect, etc. 


The commissioners presented their memorial to Ge'rard. 
They received no positive promise of aid, or loan of ships, but 
were told that they could have two million francs without 
interest, to be repaid when the United States should be settled 
in peace and prosperity. Franklin wrote of this loan to the 
Secret Committee (January 17, 1777): "No conditions or 
security are required, not even an engagement from us. We 
have accepted this generous and noble benefaction; five 
hundred thousand francs, or one quarter, is to be paid into 
the hands of our banker this day, and five hundred thou- 
sand more every three months." On the 22d of January he 
added a postscript to his letter, "We have received the five 
hundred thousand francs mentioned above, and our banker 
has orders to advance us the second payment if we desire it." 

January the fifth, Franklin asked Vergennes to admit him 
and his colleagues to a second audience the next day. The 
minister, fearful of the reports that might be flung abroad by 
the English spies who were watching every movement made 
by Franklin, instructed Ge'rard to reply that he could not 
receive them upon that day at Versailles, but that he would see 
them on Tuesday in Paris. The meeting actually took place 
January the ninth, at Versailles, when a memorandum was 
submitted relating to the financial resources of the United 


States. At this meeting, according to Paul Wentworth's 
report to the Earl of Suffolk, the deputies were "attended 
by the gentleman your Lordship knows, by the name of 
Edwards, as their secretary." The mysterious person named 
Edwards is generally believed to have been Dr. Edward 
Bancroft, concerning whom very different opinions have been 
entertained by historians. Bancroft called him "a double 
spy," George III believed him to be "entirely an American," 
while Henri Doniol declared him to be "au gages du foreign 
office." English spies abounded in Paris, and the corre- 
spondence of Franklin and Deane was intercepted and furtively 
examined. Captains of American vessels were tracked by 
spies who pandered to their vices, or paid them out of hand 
for secret intelligence that they might have from America, or 
which they might become aware of in France. The "Rev- 
erend" John Vardill sought the acquaintance of Captain 
Joseph Hynson, and communicated what he learned to Lord 
North. 1 

George Lupton ingratiated himself into the favour of the 
group that gathered about Deane, who kept a table at the 
H6tel d'Hambourg for Carmichael, Wickes, Hynson, Nichol- 
son, Moylan, W. T. Franklin, and others of his countrymen 
who were engaged in the service of the Congress. Several 
of them lodged hi the house and were supplied with money 
by Silas Deane. Hynson, who was a brother-in-law of Cap- 
tain Wickes, the captain of the Reprisal, in which Franklin 
had crossed the ocean, lived in particular intimacy with Car- 

1 Stormont wrote to William Eden (April 1 6, 1777), "I am more and 
more persuaded that Hynson is, in some respects at least, an instrument in 
Deane's hands, but taking him upon that footing some use may be made of 
him, as he is not a man of real ability and may easily be drawn on to say 
more than he intends." 


michael. Captain Nicholson, too, was upon terms of con- 
fidence with Carmichael, and their mistresses, who had lived 
together in London, were now dwelling together in Paris. 

It was through Carmichael that Lupton discovered the 
name (M. Benson) under which Deane received letters from 
England. 1 

The most singular document of this kind is the engage- 
ment of Dr. Edwards [Bancroft ?] to correspond with Paul 
Wentworth and Lord Stormont, and the means of conducting 
that correspondence, written in the hand of Paul Wentworth, 
and now among the Auckland Manuscripts at King's College, 

" D. Edwards engages to Correspond with M. Wentworth 
& to communicate to him, whatever may come to his knowl- 
edge on the following subjects. 

" The progress of the Treaty with France, & of the As- 
sistance expected, or Commerce carryed on in any of the ports 
of that Kingdom, The Same with Spain, & of every other 
Court in Europe. The Agents in ye foreign Islands in 
America, & the means of carrying on the Commerce with 
the Northern Colonys. 

" The means of obtaining Credit Effects & Money : & 
the Channells & agents used to apply them ; the secret moves 
about the Courts of France & Spain, & the Congress 
Agents & having the lines from one to the other. 

" Franklins & Dean's Correspondence with the Congress, 
& their Agents: and the secret as well as the ostensible 
Letters from the Congress to them. Copys of any transactions, 

1 Lupton quoted Carmichael as saying that " neither Franklin nor Deane 
are capable of doing the business for which they were designed." 


committed to Paper, & an exact account of all intercourse 
& the subject matter treated of, between the Courts of 
Versailles & Madrid, and the Agents from the Congress. 

" Subjects to be communicated to Lord Stormont. 
"Names of the two Carolina Ships, Masters both English 
& French, description of the Ships, & Cargoes : the time 
of sailing, & the port bound to 

" The same Circumstances respecting all equipments in any 
port in Europe : together with the names of the Agents im- 

" The intelligence that may arrive from America, the Cap- 
tures made by their privateers, & the instructions they 
receive from the deputys. 

" How the Captures are disposed of. 

" Means for conducting the correspondence. 

" For Lord Stormont all Letters directed to Mr. Richard- 
son written on Gallantry but the white Parts of 
the paper to contain the intelligence written with invisible 
Ink the Wash to make which appear, is given to L d St. 
" In these Letters, or the Covers not visibly written on, will be 
contained what L? St. : will be pleased to fold up, & direct 
in a Cover to W. Wentworth & send it by messenger. 
" All packetts which M. Mary may send to Lord Stormont, to 
be sent unopened to W. W. by Messenger only. Mr. Jeans 
will call every Tuesday Evening after halfpast Nine, at the 
Tree pointed out on the S. Terrace of the Tuilleries & take 
from the Hole at the root the Bottle containing a Letter : 
" And place under the Box-Tree agreed on, a bottle con- 
taining any Communications from Lord Stormont to Dr. 


Edwards. All Letters to be Numbered with white Ink, The 
bottle to be sealed & tyed by the Neck with a common 
twyne, about half a Yard in length the other end of which 
to be fastened to a peg of wood, split at top to receive a very 
small piece of a Cord the bottle to be thrust under the Tree, 
& the Peg into the Ground on the west side." 

So numerous and questionable were the strangers who 
prowled about the neighbourhood of Passy that Lenoir, the 
chief of police, received orders to take particular precautions 
for Franklin's safety. The following paragraph appeared 
in the Nouvelles de Divers Endroits, Supplement, No 67, 
August 20, 1777: "Certain sinister-looking persons, seen 
lurking around Dr. Franklin's lodgings at Passy, and others 
no less suspected, who have even penetrated to his presence 
upon different pretexts, have led the government to give 
positive orders to the Lieutenant General of Police to watch 
over the safety of this respectable old man, and take all the 
precautions to this end that prudence could suggest." 

By means of these secret sources of information Stormont 
learned of the proceedings in the ports of France, and by his 
remonstrances to the court succeeded in having vessels de- 
tained, and the transportation of goods impeded. "Pray 
recollect what I told you," Vergennes wrote to Dubourg (June, 
1776), "one can connive at certain things but one cannot 
authorize them." With the best will in the world the Min- 
ister dared not carry his cheerful connivance so far as to give 
occasion to Stormont to ask for his passports. 

Franklin's letters, too, were opened by Anthony Todd, the 
secretary of the general post-office in London, their contents 
copied, and reclosed and fastened with imitations of the seals. 


Stormont had discovered that Franklin carried on at least an 
occasional correspondence with Lord Shelburne, Lord 
Camden, Thomas Walpole, Samuel Wharton (Lisle Street), 
Thomas Wharton (Suffolk Street), and Mr. Williams of 
Queen Street, Cheapside, and that these letters were addressed 
to Jones, Jackson, Johnson, Watson, and Nicholson. 

In the spring of 1777 the envoys turned their attention to 
other courts. At the suggestion of Vergennes, Franklin had 
entered into communication with Conde d'Aranda with a 
view to winning the aid of Spain. Carmichael had sounded 
the Swedish Minister at The Hague on the possibility of getting 
stores from Sweden, but had been discouraged from under- 
taking a journey to Stockholm. Arthur Lee started for 
Spain, but was informed before he reached that country that 
the government would prefer not to be embarrassed by the 
presence of an American envoy at Madrid. Lee obtained a 
few supplies and, seeing further concessions impossible, re- 
turned to Paris and set forth for Berlin, travelling in an English 
postchaise, painted deep green, and with A.L. in cipher upon 
the panels. Sayre, an American adventurer who had formerly 
been an alderman in London, accompanied him with the in- 
tention of proceeding to St. Petersburg to make a conquest of 
the empress. Lee could not persuade Frederick the Great 
into an alliance, and by his expedition rendered to his country 
only the negative service of leaving his colleagues in Paris 
free for six months to act according to their wisdom without 
his arrogant interference. 

Now began nine years of toil incredible, of heart-breaking 
disappointments, worries innumerable, through all which 
Franklin moved patiently, tranquilly, deliberately, emerging 
triumphantly at last to throw himself into the arms of the 


Due de Rochefoucauld, after signing the treaty of Peace, ex- 
claiming, " My friend, could I have hoped, at my age, to enjoy 
such a happiness?" 

The business of the embassy was enormous. Franklin 
was constantly harassed by troops of young military officers 
who craved positions in the continental army. Commis- 
sions and letters of recommendation descended upon him in 
overwhelming volume. He dreaded to dine abroad, being 
almost sure of meeting with some officer, or officer's friend, 
who as soon as he should be put in good humour by a glass or 
two of champagne, would begin his attack upon him. 

To further the accomplishment of the objects urged upon 
him by the Secret Committee he lived with the pen in his 
hand. He wrote to various continental papers, letters and 
articles upon "American Credit," "A Catechism relative to the 
English National Debt," and "A Dialogue between Britain, 
France, Spain, Holland, Saxony, and America," all calculated 
to embarrass England in the negotiation of loans, and to pro- 
mote the credit of America. The official correspondence of 
the embassy entailed heavy burdens. Four or five copies had 
to be made of every document. No provision had been made 
for a secretary, and Franklin was obliged to rely upon his 
grandson to sort and arrange the ever increasing mass of 
papers relating to the office and to make copies of the de- 
spatches to America. 1 

He had now arranged his household at Passy. He em- 
ployed a maitre d'h6tel, who, according to the agreement, was 
to provide daily dejeuner and dinner for five persons. The 

1 Franklin paid him, for the first year, six hundred and fifty dollars : for 
the second year, eight hundred ; the third, nine hundred ; the fourth, twelve 
hundred ; and thereafter, fifteen hundred. 


dejeuner was to consist of bread and butter, honey, and coffee 
or chocolate with sugar. The dinner was to include a joint 
of beef, or veal or mutton, followed by fowl or game with 
"deux plats d'entremets, deux plats de legumes, et un plat de 
Pattisserie, avec hors d'ceuvre, de Beurres, cornichons, 
radis, etc. ; pour le Dessert deux de Fruit en hiver, et 4 en Etc". 
Deux compottes. Un assiette de fromage, un de Biscuits, et 
un de bonbons. Des Glaces, 2 fois par Semaine en Etc* 
et un fois en Hyver." For this service Franklin paid 720 
livres a month for the family, and 240 livres for his nine 
domestic servants. For extra dinners to guests he allowed 
400 livres per month. Thus his table cost him 1360 francs. 
Upon the first of February (1778) he had in his cellar 1040 
bottles of wine, classified as follows : 

Vin rouge de Bordeaux .... 85 

Vin de Chairaisse 148 

Vin blanc de Bordeaux .... 34 
Vin rouge de Bordeaux (1761) . . 15 

Vin rouge de Bordeaux (bottled at Passy) 159 

Vin blanc de Champagne . . . 21 

Vin blanc de Moussie .... 326 
Vin de bourgogne, rouge . . . . 113 

Vin rouge ordinaire 209 

Vin blanc ordinaire ...... 10 

Vin inconnu demi bouteille . . . 12 

Rum . . . Vi ... 48 

Upon the ist of September, 1782, he again took account of 

the contents of the cellar, and found that he had 1203 

bottles in stock. His hired carriage cost him 12 livres and 24 

sols per day, but as he had to clothe his coachman, to have him 

appear "decent," and his clothes cost 200 livres a year, the 


total cost of his carriage and coachman was 5018 livres per 
year. Chaumont gave his house freely to the envoys and 
stripped himself of his fortune to supply American necessities. 
"So much the worse," said he, "for those who would not do 
the same if they had the opportunity ; so much the better 
for me to have immortalized my house by receiving into it 
Dr. Franklin and his associates." 

John Adams wrote him (September 16, 1778): 


"As our finances are at present in a situation seriously 
critical, and as I hold myself accountable to Congress for 
every part of my conduct even to the smallest article of my 
expenses I must beg the favour of you to consider what rent 
we ought to pay you for this house and furniture, both for 
the time past and to come. 

" Every part of your conduct towards me and towards our 
Americans in general, and in all our affairs, has been polite 
and obliging, as far as I have had an opportunity of observing, 
and I have no doubt it will continue so ; yet it is not reasonable 
that the United States should be under so great obligation to a 
private gentleman as that two of their representatives should 
occupy for so long a time so elegant a seat with so much fur- 
niture and such fine accommodations, without any compensa- 
tion ; and in order to avoid the danger of the disapprobation of 
our constituents on the one hand for living here at too great 
or at too uncertain an expense, and, on the other, the censure 
of the world for not making sufficient compensation to a gentle- 
man who has done so much for our convenience, it seems to me 
necessary that we should come to an understanding upon this 


"As you have an account against the Commissioners, or 
against the United States for several other matters, I should be 
obliged to you if you would send it hi as soon as possible, as 
every day makes it more and more necessary for us to look 
into our affairs with the utmost precision." 

Chaumont replied : 

"Passy, September 18, 1778. 

"I have received the letter which you did me the honour to 
write to me on the i5th inst. making inquiry as to the rent of 
my house in which you live for the past and the future. 
When I consecrated my home to Dr. Franklin and his as- 
sociates who might live with him, I made it fully understood 
that I should expect no compensation, because I perceived 
that you had need of all your means to send to the succour 
of your country, or to relieve the distresses of your country- 
men escaping from the chains of their enemies. I pray you, 
sir, to permit this arrangement to remain, which I made when 
the fate of your country was doubtful. When she shall en- 
joy all her splendour, such sacrifices on my part will be super- 
fluous or unworthy of her; but at present they may be 
useful, and I am happy hi offering them to you." 

John Adams submitted to Franklin a plan with regard to 
their accounts. 

"Passy September 22, 1778 

" Upon looking over the account of the expenditure of the 
money for which we have jointly drawn upon the banker, 
since my arrival at Passy, I find some articles charged for 
similar ones to which I have paid in my separate capacity. 


I do not mean to be difficult about these things, but that we 
may have a plan for the future, I beg leave to propose, that the 
wages and expenses of the maitre d'hdtel and cook, and of all 
the servants, their clothes, and every other expense for them, 
the wages, clothes, and other expenses of the coachman, the 
hire of the horses and carriage, the expenses of postage of 
letters, of expresses to Versailles and Paris, and elsewhere, of 
stationary ware, and all the expenses of the family, should be 
paid out of the money to be drawn from the banker by our 
joint order. If to these Dr. Franklin chooses to add the 
washerwoman's accounts for our servants etc. as well as our- 
selves, I have no objection ; receipts to be taken for payments 
of money, and each party furnished with a copy of the account 
and a sight of the receipts once a month, if he desires it. The 
expenses of a clerk for each may be added, if Dr. Franklin 
pleases, or this may be a separate expense, as he chooses. 
Expenses for clothes, books, and other things, and transient 
pocket expenses, to be separate. Or, if any other plan is 
more agreeable to Dr. Franklin, Mr. Adams begs him to 
propose it. The accounts for our sons at school may be 
added, if Dr. Franklin chooses it, to the general account, or 
otherwise. For my own part, when I left America, I ex- 
pected, and had no other thought, but to be at the expense 
of my son's subsistence and education here in my private 
capacity, and I shall be very contented to do this, if Congress 
should desire it. But while other gentlemen are maintaining 
and educating large families here, and enjoying the exquisite 
felicity of their company at the same time, perhaps Congress 
may think it proper to allow this article to us as well as to 
them ; and I. am sure I do not desire it, nor would I choose to 
accept it, if it was not allowed to others, although, perhaps, the 


duties, labours, and anxieties of our station may be greater 
than those of others. 

"I am sir, your inmate and most obedient servant. 


Franklin's total expenses in France appear to have been 
about $15,000 a year. Arthur Lee learned from the banker's 
books that Deane received on his private account from De- 
cember, 1776, to March, 1778, $20,926; and that in the 
same fifteen months Lee drew $12,749, and Franklin $12,214. 1 

Congress passed the following resolution, August 6, 1779: 

"Resolved, That an allowance of eleven thousand four hun- 
dred and twenty-eight Livres Tournois per Annum, be made 
to the several Commissioners of the United States hi Europe 
for their services, besides their reasonable expenses respec- 
tively. That the Salary, as well as the Expenses, be com- 
puted from the Time of their leaving their places of abode 
to enter on the duties of their offices, and be continued three 
months after Notice of their Recall, to enable them to return 
to their families respectively." 

Franklin's associates were more in the nature of hindrances 
than helps. The bigoted and egotistical Ralph Izard was 
sent to Tuscany, the haughty and insolent Arthur Lee to 
Spain, John Adams to Holland, and Dana to Russia; but 
they never really reached or influenced the courts to which 
they were accredited, nor did they receive any favourable 
replies to their reiterated petitions. Among themselves they 

1 Jefferson could not afford to keep a riding horse : " Be assured," he once 
said, " we are the lowest and most obscure of the whole diplomatic tribe." 
Vergennes told Noailles that Franklin's style of living was " modest." 


were devoured by envy and anger. They plotted against 
each other and cherished feelings of jealousy and malice. 
Silas Deane fell into disfavour with Congress and was re- 
called. Franklin looked leniently upon his alleged tres- 
passes. He had himself been so beset and pestered by army 
officers ambitious of commanding positions in the American 
forces that he was ready to condone Deane's indiscretions in 
employing and recommending foreign soldiers. When sum- 
moned home (December 8, 1777), Deane enjoyed the confi- 
dence of Franklin and Vergennes, but Arthur Lee declared 
that he had put into his purse 60,000 sterling while he was 
in Paris. Other letters Lee wrote full of charges and insinua- 
tions against the loyalty and moral character of his colleagues. 
He characterized Bancroft as "a notorious stock jobber, living 
hi defiance of religion and decency ; a friend of Deane who has 
just published a most false and scandalous libel in New 
York Gazette and Courrier de FEurope." Always envious 
and suspicious, Lee was restless and irritable under the supe- 
rior eminence of Franklin, and altogether unwilling to admit 
the authority of either Franklin or Deane. He had been 
appointed a Commissioner to France (October 22, 1776) 
in the place of Jefferson when the latter had declined the 
appointment. He had ineffectually sought aid from Spain 
and Prussia. He was jealous of Deane's control of the ac- 
counts and of his intimacy with Beaumarchais, whom Lee 
had met in London when he was a companion of the Wilkes 
set. Lee's egotistic and suspicious nature caused him at times 
to act like an insane person. There can be little doubt that 
his mental obsessions disqualified him for rational judgment 
and conduct. He was possessed by the belief that the 
friends of Deane were plotting to destroy his reputation and to 



traduce his character. He believed that his colleagues were 
withholding official information from him, and were secretly 
engaged in intrigues to malign him in European newspapers 
and to misrepresent him in letters to America. He wearied 
Franklin with constant communications that obstructed public 
business, and wrote to Congress urging the recall of Franklin, 
and his own promotion to his place hi France. "I have 
within this year," he wrote to Samuel Adams, "been at the 
several courts of Spain, Vienna, and Berlin, and I find this of 
France the great wheel that moves them all. Here therefore 
the most activity is requisite and if it should ever be a question 
hi Congress about my destination I should be much obliged 
to you for remembering that I should prefer being at the court 
of France." He recommended that Franklin should be sent 
to Vienna because that court was most respectable and 
quiet ! 

He wrote to his brother: "Things go on worse and worse 
every day among ourselves and my situation is more painful. 
I see in every department neglect, dissipation, and private 
schemes. Being hi trust here, I am responsible for what I 
cannot prevent, and these very men will probably be the instru- 
ments of having me called to account one day for their mis- 
deeds. There is but one way of redressing this and remedying 
the public evil, that is the plan I before sent you, of appoint- 
ing the doctor, honoris causa to Vienna, Mr. Deane to Hol- 
land, Mr. Jennings to Madrid, and leaving me here. In 
that case I should have it in my power to call those to an 
account through whose hands I know the public money has 
passed, and which will either never be accounted for, or 
misaccounted for by connivance of those who are to share in 
the public plunder." 


The dispute between Deane and Lee had its origin in the 
jealousy of the Southern and Eastern spirit, and this ancient 
antagonism had been heightened by a bitter personal quarrel. 
Their dislike and contempt for each other were beyond all 
reconciliation. By means of letters from France the fierce 
feud was extended to America, and the partisans of Lee and 
the friends of Deane engaged in bitter factional warfare. 
"Nothing short of the Ruin of the Reputation of Arthur 
Lee," wrote James Lovell to Franklin, "will glut the Malice 
of a party formed against him by that Spirit of assassinating 
Innuendo which so eminently governs his Arch enemy." 1 

Nothing testifies more strongly to the sane and calm 
philosophy of life that Franklin held and practised than the 
imperturbable way in which he discharged his duties amid 
the jarring interests and malicious slander of his associates. 
If ever an enterprise seemed foredoomed to failure it was the 
American cause in Europe. Greed, treachery, and jealousy 
marked its course. Deane detested Lee, Izard and Lee hated 
Franklin. Adams, unyieldingly honest, and almost fanati- 
cally patriotic, was at times egotistically mad. 2 Carmichael 
was feeding a company of spies at his Paris table; and at 
Nantes and at Havre, bankers and merchants were contend- 
ing for the spoils of prize ships. Lord North declared that 
Franklin was the only man in France whose hands were not 
stained with stock jobbery. Stephen Sayre, who made 
infinite protestations of patriotism, was constantly impor- 
tuning Franklin for lucrative offices, and while professing his 
eternal regard for him, wrote at the same time to Capellen a 

i April 29, 1779. 

8 Franklin characterized him as " always an honest man, sometimes a great 
man, and sometimes positively mad." 


venomous letter in which Franklin was stigmatized as a 
"great villain." The letter is so characteristic of the kind 
of slander that was current upon both sides of the Atlantic 
that I quote it in full. 

"Amsterdam, Dec. 14, 1779 

"I have ever had a favourable opinion of that man [Frank- 
lin], I mean at Passy, except on one or two former occasions, 
which I had pardon'd, as a compliment to his virtues. I 
wish it had been in my power, for I have no personal preju- 
dices to shut my eyes against some later transactions, for it 
shakes my confidence, & hurts my feelings more than any- 
thing else. 

" The field is so large, a volume would not explain all. But 
what opinion could you hold of any man, let his reputation be 
ever so well established, that would deliberately pass the ac- 
counts of an agent, employ'd by himself, & now his devoted 
servant, when this very agent has been detected in purchas- 
ing bad arms for the Americans in 1776 & 1777 such as were 
fit only for that infamous trade of America. They had been 
condemn'd, above 12 years since, as unfil for service. This 
very Agent wrote so to a Gentleman who now holds his letter. 
He wrote also, that they were not worth above three livres each. 
They were however bought by this very agent, and charged to 
the public account at twenty-three livres. He has had the 
money, & they were sent to America to defend the most 
glorious cause the sun ever saw the unhappy men who 
used them, had hearts but no arms & of course were 

" The French Officers in America who saw and knew the 
arms, will tell you the story now, with tears in their eyes. 


This man however is, more than ever, now patronized by the 
great villain, who is his uncle." l 

John Adams toiled amid heart-breaking discouragements 
to negotiate loans in Holland. Some of the business houses of 
that country were disposed to oblige America, others were 
partisans of England. John de Neufville & Son, Hend r 
Steenbergen, de la Lande and Fynje, and Horneca Fizeau 
& Co. were friendly to America; Hope & Co., Richard 
Wilkinson, Ten Broeck & Co., and Van der Pol were closely 
allied with English interests. One of the earliest Dutch 
sympathizers with America was Joan Derek van der Capellen. 
He wrote twice to Franklin, and receiving no reply, asked Dr. 
Price to introduce him. Price replied: "You intimate that 
you would be glad to be introduced to an acquaintance with 
Dr. Franklin. I wish I could oblige you hi this, but it is 
scarcely in my power. While in England he was one of my 
most intimate friends, but from mutual regard we have since 
avoided writing to one another." 

Under the name of Hortalez & Co., Caron de Beaumar- 
chais directed the business of America in France. The affair 
of the Amphitrite, a ship owned by Beaumarchais, was the 
first to convince Great Britain of the encouragement that 
France was giving to the Americans. 

Silas Deane, pressed by Beaumarchais and Vergennes, 
recommended a French officer, Du Coudray, to Congress as a 
military leader of great experience. With a letter of intro- 
duction from Franklin and Deane, and a commission as 

1 See " Brieven van en aan Joan Derek van der Capellen van de Poll, 
uitgegeven door Mr. W. H. De Beaufort." Utrecht, Kemink & Zoon, 1879 
(p. 162). This book contains the correspondence of Capellen with Americans, 
and much information concerning American business transactions in Europe. 


general of artillery granted by Deane, he sailed upon Beau- 
marchais' vessel, Amphitrite. The assumed name of Durand 
was a thin disguise for a man so widely known as Caron 
Beaumarchais. He wrote extravagant letters to the Com- 
mittee of Correspondence, hurried to French seaports, engaged 
vessels to transport merchandise and military stores to Amer- 
ica, paying two-thirds of the freight hi advance and finding 
security for the remainder. He loaded vessels in the secrecy 
of night after being forbidden by the government to engage in 
such illegal operations. To quote his own words : " If govern- 
ment caused my vessels to be unloaded in one port I sent them 
secretly to reload at a distance in the roads. Were they 
stopped under their proper names I changed them imme- 
diately or made pretended sales, and put them anew under 
fictitious commissions. Were obligations hi writing exacted 
from my Captains to go nowhere but to the West India Isl- 
ands, powerful gratifications on my part made them yield 
again to my wishes. Were they sent to prison on their return 
for disobedience, I then doubled their gratifications to keep 
their zeal from cooling, and consoled them with gold for the 
rigour of our government. Voyages, messengers, agents, 
presents, rewards, no expense was spared. One time, by 
reason of an unexpected counter order, which stopped the 
departure of one of my vessels, I hurried by land to Havre 
twenty-one pieces of cannon, which, if they had come from 
Paris by water, would have retarded us ten days." l 

Maurepas, the Prime Minister, was a frivolous character 
who was amused by the wit and good humour of Beaumar- 

1 The capital which Beaumarchais employed was the million from the 
French treasury in June, 1776 ; the million from Spain, September, 1776; and 
another million from France in 1777. 


chais. He influenced De Vergennes to allow Beaumarchais 
a free hand, and the latter succeeded in despatching the 
Amphitrite. When the vessel returned in three weeks by 
orders of Du Coudray who was dissatisfied with his quarters, 
Beaumarchais in wrath turned the General of Artillery out 
of the ship and succeeded again in gaining the assent of the 
ministers to the second sailing of the vessel. Stormont wrote 
to Lord Weymouth (January 29, 1777) : "What has happened 
with regard to the Amphitrite is a strong proof of Monsieur 
de Maurepas' Unsteadiness and Irresolution. I have no 
doubt that orders were sent to Havre which would have 
prevented her sailing at all if they had not arrived too late. 
It was most natural to infer from thence that stress of 
weather and other accidents having forced her to put into 
L'Orient she would be ordered to remain there. This was 
in contemplation, but an Unwillingness to combat the 
Intrigues of the different Parties who from various Causes 
favour the Rebels, or Apprehension of appearing to be dic- 
tated to by Great Britain, a Dread of Beaumarchais' Indis- 
cretion, if he was made desperate, and perhaps a little of that 
paltry Policy that wishes to stab in the Dark made M. de 
Maurepas connive, at least, at this second Departure of the 
Amphitrite. A Friend of M. de Maurepas to whom I was 
talking upon the Subject dropped this unguarded Expression. 
Mais que voulez vous, si peut-etre on a lachd indiscretement 
quelque Parole a ce Beaumarchais on quelque Billet que 
sais je moi? on est bien embarrasse quand en a eu affaire a 
le parolles gars." l 

1 Du Coudray sailed upon another ship. When he arrived in America, 
the artillery service was already arranged, and General Knox appointed to 
the chief command. Much contention ensued, many officers resigned, and 




JONATHAN LOSING AUSTIN carried the despatches that 
brought to France the news of the capture of Burgoyne's army. 
The excitement in Paris was immense. Beaumarchais, lifted 
from the depth of despair and of financial ruin, drove in such 
haste to the city to congratulate Franklin that his glass coach 
was overturned, and he was so badly cut about the face and 
body by the broken glass that he lay in danger of his life. 
Europe rejoiced at the check administered to England in 
America. Paris rejoiced as though the victory had been won 
by French troops over the enemies of France. There was 
tumultuous and tremendous joy. 1 Three days after Austin 
arrived, Franklin drew up a memorial proposing a tripartite 
alliance of France, Spain, and America. De Vergennes 
promised an answer in two days when it should be known 
how well disposed he was to serve the cause of America. 

The treaties of amity and commerce with his most Christian 
Majesty, and of alliance for mutual defence were signed 

Deane was blamed for the confusion and dissension. Du Coudray was 
drowned in the Schuylkill. The Amphitrite returned with a cargo of rice 
and indigo valued at one hundred and fifty thousand francs, consigned not 
to Hortales & Co., but to Lee, Deane, and Franklin. Beaumarchais produced 
his contract with Deane, plead with Franklin to save his house from ruin, 
and obtained the cargo in spite of the protests of Arthur Lee. 

1 Burgoinised became a popular word in both France and America. 
Madame Brillon used it in her correspondence, and John Adams, speaking of 
the Elizabethtown affair, April 29, 1779, said, "It appears that the English 
were repulsed and lost the cattle and horses they had taken and if they had 
not fled with uncommon dexterity they would have been burgoinisses, a tech- 
nical term which I hope the Academic will admit into the language by lawful 


by the plenipotentiaries on both sides, February 6, 1778.' 
For a few weeks the treaties were kept secret through some 
doubt of their ratification by Congress. When they were 
publicly avowed, the commissioners were received at court 
(February 20) and established in full diplomatic relations with 
the government of France. Madame du Deffand wrote to 
Horace Walpole (March 22, 1778) : "Mr. Franklin has been 
presented to the King. He was accompanied by some 
twenty insurgents, three or four of whom wore a uniform. 
Franklin wore a dress of reddish brown velvet, white hose, 
his hair hanging loose, his spectacles on his nose, and a white 
hat under his arm. I do not know what he said, but the reply 

1 On the last day of 1777 one of William Eden's spies wrote to him : 
" Doctor Franklin is all life and full of Spirits he dined last week with 
the Doctor of the Invalids at this place after dinner the Gen*? gave Success 
to the American Arms and if you please says Franklin we'll add a per- 
petual and everlasting understanding between the House of Bourbon and 
the American Congress this has made much noise here & the General 
opinion of the people is that Alliance is absolutely concluded between 
this Court and the Americans for my part I cannot say much at present 
as am just arrived and have hardly had time to turn myself However 
by next Courier expect a full account of their whole proceeding as far as I 
can come at, I am sorry to be the Messenger of bad news yet I am con- 
fident 'tis absolutely necessary you should have the best and most Authen- 
tic Intelligence You may depend on me for every thing that possiable for a 
man to do in my situation and shall exert myself more than common (if 
Possiabe) to come at the bottom of everything Doctor Franklin is a life 
and does nothing but fly from one part of Paris to t'other Possiably his 
course may be Stop'd Shortly as I hope and flat[ter] myself you'll have 
some favourable Intelligence from other side the Atlantic which will Check 
him and his boasting followers Indeed tis highly necessary as they carry 
their heads much above the common Run on acct : of the disaster of Gen 1 
Bourgoyne Adieu ? D* Sir expect News in my Next if any I have not 
seen Ogg yet but hope to find the Needfull there as this Season of year 
here is attended with unusual Expenses which is Customary I am with 
Respect Your Hum Ser* 

"Dec. 31, 1777" 


of the king was very gracious, as well towards the United 
States as towards Franklin their deputy. He praised his 
conduct and that of all his compatriots. I do not know what 
title he will have, but he will go to court every Tuesday like 
all the rest of the diplomatic corps." 

Lord Stormont was instructed to return to England. 1 A 
French fleet under the command of Count d'Estaing put to 
sea in April. M. Ge'rard sailed to America to represent the 
court of France. 2 Deane was recalled and replaced by John 

While these diplomatic and naval manoeuvres were in 
progress, England made secret overtures of peace. James 
Hutton, an old and honoured friend of Franklin and a worthy 
of the Church of the United Brethren, David Hartley, a member 
of Parliament and a son of the philosopher admired by 
Coleridge, Sir Philip Gibbes, William Pulteney, and Dr. 
Fothergill sounded Franklin in the hope of discovering some 
basis of peace without humiliating England and without 
granting independence. 

Dr. Fothergill outlined to Franklin what he called his Court 
of Arbitration : " In the warmth of my affection for mankind 
I could wish to see engrafted into this League [of Nations] 
a resolution to preclude the necessity of general wars the 
great object of universal civilization; the institution of a 

1 When Stormont left Paris, he advertised a sale of his household effects. 
Among other things was mentioned a great quantity of unused table linen, 
concerning which no surprise was expressed, for, said the Frenchmen, he never 
asked any one to dine. 

2 Gerard negotiated the first treaty of Alliance, February 6, 1778. He 
arrived in Philadelphia, July, 1778, and acted as minister for one year. He 
took final leave of Congress, September 17, 1779. He returned to Europe 
on the same vessel with John Jay. His successor was Count de la Luzerne, 
who arrived in Philadelphia, September 21, 1779. 


College of Justice, where the claims of sovereigns should be 
weighed an award given and war only made on him 
who refused submission. No one man in the world has it so 
much in his power as my honoured Friend to infuse the 
thought into the hearts of princes, or those who rule them and 
their affairs." 

Lord North speedily introduced two conciliatory bills into 
Parliament, and in March, 1778, Lord Carlisle, Richard 
Jackson, and William Eden were named Commissioners for 
restoring Peace and sailed from Portsmouth for America on 
the Trident on the i6th of April. 1 

Benjamin Vaughan sent Franklin the following minutes 
taken memoriter from Lord Shelburne's speech, March 6, 
1778. (A.P.S.) 

" Not a time to talk about ministers incon- 
sistency, but to explain our views. 

" The war must end, and troops be with- 
drawn : but no independence alluded to ; for 
when that happens England's sun is set. 
We must go back to as much of the con- 
nection as we can; and have "one friend, 
one enemy, one purse, and one superintend- 
ence of commerce." The mutual checks 

1 Jackson was suggested by William Eden who characterized him as " a 
man of uncommon abilities on American matters, and well beloved in the 
colonies." George III, however, wrote to Lord North, April i, 1778, "I am 
very clear he ought not to be allowed to go." (Donne, Vol. II, p. 166.) 

Jackson's sentiments may be gathered from the following sentence from a 
letter he addressed to William Eden (February 28, 1778). 

"The Commencement of the American War always appeared to me an 
impolitic measure, the continuance of it cannot be less than Ruin to this 
Empire, & will be an Object that I cannot be near without an Anxiety that 
will be too much for me to bear." 


Entered into a his- 
tory of these treat- 
ies ; and spoke of 
commercial treaties 
in general. 

Had formerly plan- 
ned to leave them 
to election of the 
people themselves 
in projected new 
settlements ; as per- 
sons could be 
brought to their bar 
to prove. 

But M r Grenville 
He found difficul- 
ties to get fit coun- 
try gentlemen, sea 
officers or land of- 
ficers to accept of 

would be of mutual use. Commercial treaty 
of no avail, either to England or France; 
witness Bacon's intercursus magnus which in 
ten years was called intercursus malus ; and 
M r Methuens Portugal treaty 

" To make this go down with congress we 
must give Canada, Scotia, the lakes, New- 
foundland, Cape Breton, The Floridas, and 
the Mississippi, to be governed by Congress, 
by name. In congress there are many honest 
& sagacious men. If we are left with these 
stations, they [the congress] will have us 
waiting for their dissensions then to interfere ; 
and we, on our part, shall have extent enough 
to swallow up our present force which 
must not occupy where it is. The paltry 
governors and low views of patronage, must 
be given up: they never were useful, never 
could be well assorted. America will have 
the capital of our merchants ; and a harmless 
king who might save a worse power being 
looked for among themselves. And this 
also joined by a thousand uses, privileges, 
and ties. And when I made such proposals, 
I would seek dignified language, and soften 
all umbrageousness. I know what is to be 
urged on the other side, but I would say with 
Bacon, revenge is not infinite, and vindictive 
war goes not beyond the injury. 

"As I assent heartily to the matter of two 
of the bills, and shall let the other pass, I 



Talked about a re- 
jection of an article 
in the treaty of 
Utrecht by parlia- 
ment, which IA 
Bolingbroke had 
presumed to treat 
for, though relating 
to an act of parlia- 

must explain the vote. I dont like the pre- 
amble &c &c. [He went into a short dis- 
cussion.] I shall when I vote thus, shew that 
I foresee the effects. 

"When France comes abreast with us to 
congress, let us suppose that they state our 
merits in columns side by side; for it is 
lawful to leam method even from a rebel 
(Dr. Franklin.) In one column will come the 
offers of France, as we may conceive, fair and 
large. In the other will come the bill, as we 
see it offered by the minister by the minis- 
ter who starved, who tomahawked them, & 
who bribed their servants to cut their throats ; 
who spread catholic despotism along one 
frontier, and plunder and prohibition on the 
other; who violated governments, refused 
petitions, and broke faith &c &c &c. And 
what hold has America in our country? Is 
it in parliament ; which echoes and changes, 
as its leaders give the word and change? 
Is it in ministers, who are seen in minorities 
even when bringing inquiry upon the enor- 
mity of the east ? Is it in the faith of minis- 
ters ? There are countries where the word of 
ministers would be taken; in France and 
Austria, a Choiseul and a Kaunitz have re- 
fused to break theirs for a king ; and the time 
has come when their kings have thanked them ? 

" But now to look at home. We have been 
told we are on the eve of war, and yet not one 


step taken to prepare. We have just repro- 
bated our navy. And what is the number 
of our allies? We have memorialized away 
the attachment of Holland ; we have detached 
Portugal ; and no one knows our standing hi 
Germany; it is no longer the country of 
independent Barons ; it is getting into 7 or 8 
successions, and Germany & Prussia swal- 
lowing up the few that remain. When I 
read of the petition just voted by the city, I 
thought they might have summed up their 
intentions in the short words of the Spanish 
Statesman in Bacon to Philip. "For your 
majesty's comfort, you have upon earth but 
two enemies ; one the whole world, the other 
your own ministers." Yet when I hear of 
the many millions assembled against us and 
the few for us, I know what is to be done by 
vigor. When Scotland was still separated, I 
remember the effect Clarendon states as 
produced by one man's vigor, Cromwell, 
upon Europe. Ministers may injure, and 
things be delayed, beyond redemption; but 
yet I say this ; that we may not sink our spirit 
along with our hope. 

"When the mention of independence comes 
from ministry, it is, in vulgar language, the 
thief that first robs and then fires the house 
in order to cover his escape. If America is 
independent, we must demand of ministers 
the blessings they have lost ; for they received 


every thing peaceable and safe. I well re- 
member the attorney and solicitor generals 
testified under their hands the calm that had 
intervened. It is one cause of my objections 
to independence, that it will be impracticable 
to avoid having rendered to us shocking 
personal accounts. 

" (N.B. Much extraneous matter occurred 
which is omitted. The Lords Mansfield, 
Hertford, Denbigh & Lord Bute's son were 
absent. I verily believe the believe was 
meant to unite some at home and divide 
America. It failed in the first, partly from 

its humility impracticability or ; and 

when this was seen, it fell down upon the 
minister, and has become a derelict in both 
houses. People did not know their part; 
and had it been balloted might have been 
lost Yet we are really tired of the war 
and of the ministers." 

The envoys recommended Congress to appoint a single 
plenipotentiary to the court of France. Congress revoked the 
commission by which the United States had been repre- 
sented, and on the 28th of October, 1778, elected Franklin 
sole plenipotentiary. 1 Lafayette brought the new commission, 
credentials, and instructions, upon the nth of February. 
Upon being invested with his new responsibilities, Franklin 
wrote to John Adams: "Dr. Franklin presents Compli- 

1 Pennsylvania was the only state that voted against Franklin. The 
adverse vote was the result of the influence of Roberdeau, whose chief argu- 
ment was the association of William Temple Franklin with his grandfather. 


ments to Mr. Adams and requests that all the Public Papers 
may be sent him by the Bearer. Dr. Franklin will undertake 
to keep them in order; and will at any time chearfully look 
for and furnish Mr. Adams with any Paper he may have occa- 
sion for." Immediately upon the receipt of this note Mr. 
Adams put all the public papers then in his possession into 
the hands of W. T. Franklin. 
A similar letter was sent to Arthur Lee, who replied in very 

different tone, 

Chaillot, 21 February 1779. 

Sir: Your grandson delivered to me, between 10 and 12 
o'clock on the igth, your letter dated the i8th, in which you 
desire I will send by the bearer all the papers belonging to 
this department. 

I have no papers belonging to the department of Minister 
Plenipotentiary at the Court of Versailles. But if you mean, 
sir, the papers relating to the transactions of our late joint 
Commission, I am yet to learn and cannot conceive on what 
reason or authority any one of those who were formerly in that 
Commission can claim or demand possession of all the papers 
evidencing their transactions, in which, if they should appear 
to have been equally concerned, they are equally responsible. 

Of these papers Mr. Deane, by his own account, has taken 
and secured such as he chose. The rest, a very few excepted, 
you have. Many of these I have never even seen, but have 
been favoured with copies. Of the few originals in my pos- 
session there are, I know, duplicates of the most part at Passy, 
because it was for that reason only that I took them. The rest 
are necessary evidence to answer Mr. Deane's accusations, 
which you know to be most base and false that ever the malice 
and wickedness of man invented. 


If it were indeed agreed that all the papers belonging to our 
late Commission should be brought together, numbered, 
docketed and deposited where the late Commissioners, and 
they only, might have access to them, I would very readily 
contribute the few I have. But on no other terms can I 
part with them, and must therefore desire you to command 
me in some other service. 

Still, however, I am in the judgement of Congress, and if 
upon our mutual representations, should you think it worth 
troubling them with it they should be of a different opinion, 
I shall abide by their decision and obey their orders. 

I hope your gout is better, and have the honour to be, etc., 


In addition to the diplomatic correspondence of the 
American Revolution and the private correspondence of the 
representatives of the United States there remain a few frag- 
ments of Franklin's diary from which some slight information 
may be obtained of the succession of events. Portions of 
the diary, from December 18, 1780, to January 29, 1781; 
and from June 26 to July 27, 1784, exist among the Franklin 
papers in the Library of Congress, and are here reprinted. 

Dec. 18, 1780. Consented in conversation with Mr. 
Grand that Mr. Williams, on being put in possession of the 
policies of insurance of the 'ship Marquis de Lafayette, for 
200,000 livres, should draw on me for the freight to that 

Mr. Chaumont writes, pressing an advance of the money 
on security. Replied that if the security was such as the 
Congress banker approved of I would advance the sum. 

Heard that transports are taking up here for America, and 



that bank-bills in England had been counterfeited to a great 


Dec. igth. Went to Versailles at M. Vergennes ; much 
was said to me in favour of M. de Chaumont's demand. It 
was owned that he had been wrong in demanding as a right 
what he ought to have asked as a favour; but that affairs 
among friends should not be transacted with rigour, but 
amicably and with indulgent allowances. I found I had been 
represented as unkindly exact in the business. I promised to 
do all in my power to make it easy to M. Chaumont. He 
came to me in the evening after my return, but with much 
heat against Mr. Grand, which I endeavoured to allay, as 
it was really very unjust. Offered him to accept his bills 
drawn on me, as the operation through Mr. Williams at 
Nantes would take too much time to suit with his exigencies. 
He said he would consult with his banker. Exclaimed much 
against the judgement at Nantes, etc. 

Requested Mr. Grand to transfer out of the public cash 
the amount of the several balancies of my private accounts 
with the Congress, and give me credit for the same in my 
particular account. 

Dec. 20th. Certified, or, as they call it here, legalized, 
the papers relative to the taking a Portuguese ship by the 
Mars of Boston, and sent them to the Porto' ambass. 

Accepted M. de Chaumont's drafts dated November 10 for 
the 200,000 livres freight at 4 usuances, and he gave me his 
engagement to return the money in case the ship Marquis de 
Lafayette did not arrive at L'Orient to take in our goods. 
Prince de Montbarey, Ministre de la Guerre, resigns. His 
successor not yet known. 

Dec. 2ist. Wrote to M. de Chaumont pressingly for his 


account with the Congress, that it may be settled now Mr. 
Deane is here. 

M. de Segur succeeds the Prince de Montbarey. 

Dec. 22d. Received an account between Mr. Chaumont 
and Mr. Deane, which includes Congress artic [mutilated]; 
copy it, as it must be sent to Mr. Deane. 

Dec. 2^d. Hear by letters from L'Orient of the depart- 
ure of Capt. Jones in the Ariel on the i8th. 

Dec. 24th. Received Gourlade and Moylan's account of 
fresh expenses, upwards of 20,000, by Capt. Jones. 

Two young Englishmen, Scot and Williams, would go to 
America; discouraged them. 

Dec. 2$th. Gave an order to Mr. Grand to remit 150 
sterling to Mr. Wm. Hodgson, London, for the relief of 
American prisoners. 

Received information from a good hand that the G. 
Pensionaire had been with Sir J. Y., and acquainted him 
that an answer would be given to his memorials, but that it 
could not be precipitated contrary to the constitution; it 
was necessary to have the advice of the provinces. 

The S. H. has behaved well hi the resolution for arming. 

The Duke A. G. C., the Pensionary of Amsterdam, a 
brave, steady man. 

Dec. 26th. Went to Versailles to assist at the ceremony 
of condolence on the death of the Empress Queen. All the 
foreign ministers in deep mourning, flopped hats and 
crape, long black cloaks, etc. The Nuncio pronounced the 
compliments to the king and afterwards to the queen in her 
apartments. M. de Vergennes told me of the war declared 
by England against Holland. Visited at the new Ministers 
of War and Marine; neither of them at home. Much fa- 


tigued by the going twice up and down the palace stairs, 
from the tenderness of my feet and weakness of my knees ; 
therefore did not go the rounds. Declined dining with M. 
de Vergennes, as inconsistent with my present mode of 
living, which is simple, till I have recovered my strength. 
Took a partridge with M. de Chaumont. No news yet of 
Count d'Estaing. 

Wednesday, 2jth. Much talk about the new war. Hear 
of the hurricane hi the West Indies. English fleet under 
Admiral Darby put into port. Wrote to J. Williams, at 
Nantes, to send advice to America by every possible oppor- 
tunity of the English declaration against Holland. 

Thursday, 28th. Mr. Grand has some time since carried 
an advance of my salary for one quarter (15,000) out of 
the public monies, to my private account; and I afterwards 
gave him a receipt for that sum, which should have been 
mentioned before. 

Friday, 2gth. Went by particular invitation to the Sor- 
bonne, to an assembly of the Faculty of Physic in the College 
Hall, where we had the eloge of my friend M. Dubourg and 
other pieces. Suffered by the cold. 

M. de Chaumont has [mutilated] J. Williams' draft on me 
for 428,000 on account of the cloth, but declined . . . why 
[? I know not why] presenting it. I ought to give him. . . . 
[line here mutilated, the only words legible are " Congress," 
"above," or "about," and "livres."] 

Saturday, $oth. Breakfasted at Mad. Brillon's. Re- 
ceived of Mr. Grand 4,800 on private account, which was 
put into the hands of W. T. Franklin to pay bills and family 

Sunday ? 31^. Much company at dinner; among 


others, M. Perrier and M. Wilkinson, ingenious mechani- 
cians. M. Romayne, of Hackinsack, in the Jerseys. No 

Monday, Jan. i, 1781. News that an expedition is on 
foot against Jersey and Guernsey, some frigates with trans- 
ports and 2,500 men having sailed from Granville the 26th 

Mr. Dana is returned from Holland, which he left the be- 
ginning of last month. Mr. Adams remains there, who writes 
me December ist that there is little or no hopes of a loan. 

Tuesday, Jan. zd. Went to Versailles. No foreign 
ministers there but one or two; the rest having been there 
yesterday. Visited the new Secretary at War, who was very 
polite. Wrote to M. de Castries, Minister of the Marine. 
Not strong enough to go up to M. de Maurepas. Visited 
M. Le Roy and dined with M. and Mad. de Renneval. 
News of disappointment of Jersey expedition. Wind and 
tide contrary [mutilated, the word "Etres" only visible] the 
offices in part. 

Wednesday, Jan. $d. Letters from Holland. The Dutch 
seem not to have known on the 28th past that war was 
actually declared against them. Informed here that the 
English court has sent copies of the papers taken with Mr. 
Laurens to the northern courts, with aggravated complaints 
against the States- General ; and that the States had also 
sent their justification. Important news expected by the re- 
turn of the courier. 

Thursday, Jan. 4th. Learnt that the states had given 
orders for building 100 ships of war. Gave an order on Mr. 
Grand [mutilated; qr. "for"] paying Sabbatier's balance, 
the sum 3,526 18 6 being for carriage of the clothing. 


Friday, Jan. $th. Signed recommendation, to the minis- 
ters, of M. de La Neuville, officer formerly in the American 

Saturday, Jan. 6th. Accepted a number of loan-office 
bills this day and every day of the past week. No news yet 
of Count D'Estaing, which begins to give great uneasiness, 
as his fleet was not provided for so long a voyage. 

Sunday, Jan. 'jth. News of the safe arrival of Count 
D'Estaing at Brest ; more accounts of the terrible hurricane 
in the West Indies. Accepted a vast number of loan-office 
bills. Some of the new drafts begin to appear. 

Monday, Jan. 8th. Accepted many bills. Hear from 
Holland that they had but just received news of the declara- 
tion of war against them ; and that the English church was 
burnt at the Hague, unknown by what means. 

Tuesday, gth. Count D'Estaing arrives at Passy. Hear 
of ships arrived at L'Orient from America. No letters come 
up. Indisposed and did not go to court. 

Wednesday, loth. Letters arrived from Philadelphia. 
Reports there of advantages gained to the southward; and 
that Leslie had quitted Virginia. Informed that my recall 
is to be moved for in Congress. News that the troops have 
made good their landing hi Jersey and taken all but the 

Thursday, nth. Gave Mr. Dana copies of the letters 
between M. de Sartine and me concerning Mr. Dalton's 
affair. Proposed to him to examine the public accounts 
now while Mr. Deane was here, which he declined. 

Friday, i2th. Sign acceptation [qu. "of"; mutilated] 
many bills. They come thick. 

Saturday, Jan. itfh. Learn that there is a violent com- 


motion in Holknd ; that the people are violently exasperated 
against the English ; have thrown some into the canals ; and 
those merchants of Amsterdam who have been known to 
favour them, dare not appear in the streets ; that the return 
of their express to Russia brings good accounts of the favour- 
able disposition of the Empress. 

Sunday, Jan. 14^. Mr. Grand acquaints me that he 
learns from Mr. Cotin, banker of M. de Chaumont, that 
the Marquis de Lafayette will be stopped by creditors of M. 
de Chaumont unless 50,000 crowns are advanced, and sub- 
mitted it to my consideration whether I had not better buy 
the ship. 

Vexed with the long delay on so many frivolous pretences, 
and seeing no end to them, and fearing to embarrass myself 
still further in affairs that I do not understand, I took at once 
the resolution of offering our contract for that ship to the 
government, to whom I hoped it might be agreeable to have 
her as a transport, as our goods would not fill her, she being 
gauged at 1,200 tons. Accordingly I requested Mr. Grand 
to go to Versailles and to propose it to M. de Vergennes. 

Monday, Jan. i$th. Signed an authority to Mr. Bon- 
field to administer [mutilated] oath of allegiance to the 
United States to Mr. Vaughan. 

Accepted above 200 bills, some of the new. 

Mr. Grand calls on his return from Versailles, and ac- 
quaints me that Mr. Vergennes desires the proposition may 
be reduced to writing. Mr. Grand has accordingly made a 
draft, which he presented for my approbation. 

Tuesday, Jan. i6th. Went to Versailles and performed 
all the ceremonies, though with difficulty, my feet being still 


Left the pacquets for Mr. Jay with M. de Renneval, who 
promised to send them with the next courier. 

Presented Mr. Grand's paper to M. de Vergennes, who 
told me he would try to arrange that matter for me. I ac- 
quainted M. de Chaumont with [mutilated] step [qu. "with 
the step,"] who did not seem to approve of it. 

Heard of the ill success of the troops in Jersey, who were 
defeated the same day they landed : 150 killed, 200 wounded, 
and the rest taken prisoners. 

Wednesday, Jan. ifth. Accepted many bills and wrote 
some letters. 

Thursday, Jan. i8th. Mr. Grand informs me that he 
has been at Versailles and spoken with M. de Vergennes 
and M. de Renneval ; that the minister declined the propo- 
sition of taking the vessel on account of the government, 
but kindly offered to advance me the ^150,000 if I chose to 
pay that sum. He brought me also the project of an engage- 
ment drawn up by Mr. Cotin, by which I was to promise 
that payment, and he and Co. were to permit the vessel to 
depart. He left this paper for my consideration. 

Friday, Jan. igth. Considering this demand of Messrs. 
Cotin and Jauge as an imposition, I determined not to submit 
to it, and wrote my reasons. 

Relieved an American captain with five guineas to help 
him to L'Orient. 

Saturday, Jan. 2oth. Gave a pass to a Bristol merchant 
to go to Spain. He was recommended to me as having 
been a great friend to American prisoners. His name 
[nothing has been written here apparently]. 

Sunday, Jan. 2ist. Mr. Jauge comes to talk with me 
about the ship, and intimated that if I refused to advance 


the ;i 50,000 I should not only be deprived of the ship, but 
lose the freight I had advanced. I absolutely refused to 

Monday, Jan. 22d. Mr. Grand informs me that Mr. 
Williams has drawn on me for 25,000 livres to enable him 
to pay returned acceptances of M. de Chaumont. I ordered 
payment of his drafts. Received a letter from Mr. Williams 
and wrote an answer, which letters explained this affair. 

Letter from M. de Chaumont informing me he had re- 
ceived remittances from America. I congratulated him. 

Tuesday, Jan. 2$d. Went to court and performed all 
the round of levees, though with much pain and difficulty, 
through the tenderness and feebleness of my feet and knees. 
M. Vergennes is ill and unable to hold long conferences. I 
dined there and had some conversation with M. Renneval, 
who told me I had misunderstood the proposition of ad- 
vancing the 150,000 livres, or it had not been rightly repre- 
sented to me; that it was not expected of me to advance 
more for M. de Chaumont; that the advance was to have 
been made by M. de Vergennes, etc. I see clearly, however, 
that the paper offered me to sign by Messrs. Cotin & Co., 
would have engaged me to be accountable for it. Had some 
conference with the Nuncio, who seemed inclined to en- 
courage American vessels to come to the ecclesiastical state, 
acquainting me they had two good ports to receive us, Civita 
Vecchia and Ancona, where there was a good deal of busi- 
ness done, and we should find good vente for our fish, etc. 
Hear I [no words legible]. 

Wednesday, Jan. 2$th. A great number of bills. Visit 
at M. de Chaumont's in the evening; found him cold and 
dry. Received a note from Mr. Searle, acquainting me with 


his [mutilated] sal [qu. dismissal, or arrival] from Holland on 
Saturday last. 

Thursday, Jan. 2$th. Hear that M. de Chaumont pays 
again, being enabled by his remittances [mutilated] bills. 
Holland begins to move, and gives great encouragement 
[mutilated] turning. M. de L' [mutilated] comes to see me, 
and demands breakfast; chear [cheerful?] and frank. 
Authorize Mr. Grand to pay the balance of Messrs. Jay's 
and Carmichael's salaries, and Mr. Digges's bill. 

Friday, Jan. 26th. Went to Paris to visit Princess 
Daschkaw; not at home. Visit Prince and Princess Mas- 
serano. He informs me that he despatches a messenger [a 
word or two obliterated] on Tuesday. Visit Duke de Roche- 
foucauld and Madame la Duchesse d'Enville. Visit Messrs. 
Dana and Searle; not at home. Leave invitations to dine 
with me on Sunday. Visit Comte d'Estaing; not at home. 
Mr. Turgot ; not at home. Accept bills. 

Saturday, Jan. i^th. Write to Madrid, and answer all 
Mr. Jay's and Mr. Carmichael's letters received during my 

Sunday, Jan. 2&th. Mr. Dana comes ; Mr. Searle ex- 
cuses himself. Invite him for Tuesday. 

Monday, Jan. 2gth. Hear of the arrival of the Duke of 
Leinster, with Mr. Ross, at Philadelphia, which gives me 
great pleasure, as she had much cloth, etc., for the Congress. 
Despatched my letters for Madrid. 

Passy, June 26th, 1784. Mr. Walterstorf called on me, 
and acquainted me with a Duel that had been fought yester- 
day Mor 5 , between a French Officer 1 and a Swedish Gentle- 
man of that king's Suite, in which the latter was killed on 

1 The Count de la Marck. 


the Spot, and the other dangerously wounded ; that the 
king does not resent it, as he thinks his Subject was in the 

He asked me if I had seen the king of Sweden ? I had not 
yet had that Honor. He said his Behaviour here was not 
liked; that he took little Notice of his own Ambassador, 
who being acquainted with the usages of this court, was 
capable of advising him, but was not consulted. That he 
was always talking of himself, and vainly boasting of his 
Revolution, tho' it was known to have been the work of M. 
de Vergennes. That they began to be tired of him here, 
and wish'd him gone: but he propos'd staying till the i2th 
July. That he had now laid aside his Project of invading 
Norway, as he found Denmark had made Preparations to 
receive him. That he pretended the Danes had designed to 
invade Sweden, tho' it was a known fact, that the Danes had 
made no Military Preparations, even for Defence, till Six 
Months after his began. I asked if it was clear that he had 
had an Intention to invade Norway. He said that the 
marching and disposition of his Troops, and the Fortifica- 
tions he had erected, indicated it very plainly. He added, 
that Sweden was at present greatly distress'd for Provisions ; 
that many People had actually died of Hunger! That it 
was reported the king came here to borrow Money, and to 
offer to sell Gottenburgh to Prance ; a thing not very prob- 

M. Dussaulx called, and said, it is reported there is an 
alliance treating between the Emperor of Austria, Russia, 
and England ; the Purpose not known ; and that a counter- 
alliance is propos'd between France, Prussia, and Holland, 
in which it is suppos'd Spam will join. He added that 


Changes in the Ministry are talked of ; that there are Cabals 
against M. de Vergennes ; that M. de Calonne is to be Garde 
des Sceaux, with some other Rumours, fabricated perhaps at 
the Palais Royal. 

June 29. Mr. Hammond, Sec y . to Mr. Hartley, call'd to 
tell me that Mr. Hartley had not received any Orders by the 
last Courier, either to stay or return, which he had expected ; 
and that he thought it occasioned by their Uncertainty what 
Terms of Commerce to propose, 'till the Report of the Com- 
mittee of Council was laid before Parliament, and its Opinion 
known ; and that he looked on the Delay of writing to him as 
a sign of their intending to do something. 

He told me it was reported that the king of Sweden had 
granted the free use of Gottenburg as a Port for France, 
which alarmed the neighbouring Powers. That in time of 
War, the Northern Coast of England might be much en- 
danger'd by it. 

June 3<D/&. M. Dupont, Inspector of Commerce, came 
to talk with me about the free Port of L'Orient, and some 
Difficulties respecting it; I referr'd him to Mr. Barclay, an 
American Merchant and Com 1 for Accounts; and as he 
said he did not well understand English when spoken, and 
Mr. Barclay did not speak French, I offer'd my Grandson to 
accompany him as Interpreter, which he accepted. 

I asked him whether the Spaniards from the Continent of 
America did not trade to the French Sugar Islands? He 
said not. The only Commerce with the Spaniards was for 
Cattle between them and the French at St. Domingo. I had 
been told the Spaniards brought Flour to the French Islands 
from the Continent. He had not heard of it. If we can 
find that such a Trade is allow'd (perhaps from the Miss- 


issippi), have not the U. States a Claim by Treaty to the 
same Privilege? 

July ist. The Pope's Nuncio called, and acquainted me 
that the Pope had, on my Recommendation, appointed Mr. 
John Carroll, Superior of the Catholic Clergy in America, 
with many of the Powers of a Bishop; and that probably 
he would be made a Bishop in partibus before the End of 
the Year. He asked me which would be most convenient 
for him, to come to France, or go to St. Domingo, for Ordi- 
nation by another Bishop, which was necessary. I men- 
tioned Quebec as more convenient than either. He asked 
whether, as that was an English Province, our Government 
might not take Offence at his going there? I thought not, 
unless the Ordination by that Bishop should give him some 
Authority over our Bishop. He said, not in the least ; that 
when our Bishop was once ordained, he would be independent 
of the others, and even of the Pope ; which I did not clearly 
understand. He said the Congregation de Propaganda Fidei 
had agreed to receive, and maintain and instruct, two young 
Americans in the Languages and Sciences at Rome ; (he had 
formerly told me that more would be educated gratis in 
France). He told me, they had written from America that 
there are 20 Priests, but that they are not sufficient; as the 
new Settlements near the Mississippi have need of some. 

The Nuncio said we should find, that the Catholics were 
not so intolerant as they had been represented; that the 
Inquisition in Rome had not now so much Power as that hi 
Spain; and that in Spain it was used chiefly as a Prison of 
State. That the Congregation would have undertaken the 
Education of more American youths, and may hereafter, 
but that at present they are overburthened, having some 


from all parts of the World : He spoke lightly of their new 
Convert Thayer's (of Boston) Conversion; that he had 
advised him not to go to America, but settle in France. That 
he wanted to go to convert his Countrymen; but he knew 
nothing yet of his new Religion himself, &C. 1 

Rec* a Letter from Mr. Bridgen of London, dated the 22d 
past, acquainting me that the Council of the Royal Society 
had voted me a Gold Medal, on ace* of my Letter in favor 
of Capt. Cook. 2 Lord Howe had sent me his Journal, 3 vols. 
4to, with a large Volume of Engravings, on the same Acct., 
and as he writes "with the King's Approbation" 

1 See Vol. IX, p. 303. 

2 The gold medal had been struck in recognition of the aid given to Cap- 
tain Cook by the king of England, and the empress of Russia. Sir Joseph 
Banks, President of the Royal Society, wrote to ^Franklin, August 13, 1784 
(U. of P.): 


" Willing as much as is in my Power to Clear the R. Society & myself 
from our share of the charge of Illiberal treatment towards you with which I 
fear this Countrey may too justly be accusd, I take my Pen with no small 
Pleasure to inform you that I am instructed by the Council of the Royal 
Society to Present to you in their name the Gold medal they have struck in 
honour of Cap 1 ? 1 Cook as a testimony how truly they respect those liberal 
sentiments which indued you when his return to Europe was expected to 
Issue your orders to such American Cruizers as were then under your direc- 
tion to abstain from molesting that great Circumnavigator an act worthy 
those sentiments of General Philanthropy by which I have observed your 
Conduct was actuated since I have had the honour of your acquaintance at 
the same time give me leave to Congratulate you on the honorable manner 
in which you received a Copy of Cap*? Cooks voyage sent to you by his 
Britanic Majesties orders as a testimony of his Royal approbation of the same 
liberal Conduct. 

" As I suppose you would wish to know to whom you are obliged for the 
representation which induced his Majesty to send it I can inform you that it 
was L d Howe, when I, who by desire of the admiralty conducted the General 
Business of that Publication reported the names of those to whom Presents 
of the work ought in my opinion to be sent I did not venture to insert your 
name in the List but when L d Howe on hearing my reasons for sending one 


July 3<2. Mr. Smeathman comes and brings two English 
or Scotch Gentlemen; one a Chevalier of some Order, the 
other a Physician who had lived long in Russia. Much 
Conversation. Putrid Fevers common in Russia, and in 
Winter much more than in Summer; therefore supposed to 
be owing to their hot Rooms. In a gentleman's House there 
are sometimes one hundred domestics; these have not beds, 
but sleep twenty or thirty in a close room warmed by a 
stove, lying on the floor and on benches. The stoves are 
heated by wood. As soon as it is burnt to coals, the chimney 
is stopped to prevent the escape of hot and entry of cold air. 
So they breathe the same air over and over again all night. 
These fevers he cured by wrapping the patient in linen wet 
with vinegar, and making them breathe the vapor of vinegar 
thrown on hot bricks. The Russians have the art of distil- 
ling spirit from milk. To prepare it for distillation it must, 
when beginning to sour, be kept in continual motion or 
agitation for twelve hours ; it then becomes a uniform vinous 
liquor, the cream, curd, and aqueous part or whey, all ul- 
timately mixed. Excellent in this state for restoring emaci- 
ated bodies. This operation on milk was discovered long 
since by the Tartars, who in their rambling life often carry 
milk in leather bags on their horses, and the motion pro- 
duced the effect. It may be tried with us by attaching a 
large keg of milk to some part of one of our mills. 

July 6. Directed W. T. F., who goes to Court, to men- 
tion 3 Things at the Request of M. Barclay. The main levee 

to his most Christian Majesty approvd of them in warm Terms I thought it 
proper to acquaint him that you had an equal right to the same compliment 
a circumstance of which he was ignorant on which his Lordship of his own 
mere motion & without hesitation ordered your name to be inserted in the 
List & obtain 4 his Majesties Royal assent with a little difficulty." 


of the arrested Goods, the port of L' Orient, and the Con- 
sular Convention ; which he did. The Port is fix'd, and the 
Convention preparing. Hear that Gottenburg is to be a 
free Port for France, where they may assemble Northern 
Stores, &c. 

Mr. Hammond came and din'd with me. He acquaints 
me, from Mr. Hartley, that no Instructions are yet come 
from England. Mr. Hartley is lame. 

July 7. A very' hot Day. Receiv'd a Visit from the 
Secretary of the King of Sweden, M. Frank, accompanied 
by the Secretary of the Embassy. 

July 8. M. Franke dines with me, in Company with 
Mad. Helv&ius, Abbe* de la Roche, M. Cabanis, and an 
American captain. The king of Sweden does not go to 
England. The Consul did not come. 

July loth. Mr. Grand came to propose my dining with 
the Swedish Court at his House, which is next door, and I 
consented. While he was with me, the consul came. We 
talked about the Barbary powers; they are four, Morocco, 
Algiers, Tunis, and Tripoli. He informed me that Salee, 
the principal port belonging to the Emperor of Morocco, 
had formerly been famous for corsairs. That this prince had 
discouraged them, and in 1768 published an edict declaring 
himself hi peace with all the world, and forbade their cruis- 
ing any more, appointing him consul for those Christian 
states who had none in his country. That Denmark pays 
him 25,000 piastres fortes yearly, in money; Sweden is en- 
gaged to send an ambassador every two years with presents ; 
and the other powers buy their peace in the same manner, 
except Spain and the Italian states, with whom they have 
constant war. That he is consul for Sardinia and Prussia, 


for whom he procured treaties of peace. That he proposed 
a peace for Russia ; but that, the Emperor having heard 
that Russia was going to war with his brother, the Grand 
Seignior, he refused it. 

M. Audibert Caille, the consul, thinks it shameful for 
Christendom to pay tribute to such canaille, and proposes 
two ways of reducing the barbarians to peace with all Europe, 
and obliging them to quit their piratical practices. They 
have need of many articles from Europe, and of a vent for 
their superfluous commodities. If therefore all Europe would 
agree to refuse any commerce with them but on condition of 
their quitting piracy, and such an agreement could be faith- 
fully observed on our part, it would have its effect upon 
them. But, if any one power would continue the trade 
with them, it would defeat the whole. There was another 
method he had projected, and communicated in a memorial 
to the court here, by M. de Rayneval; which was, that 
France should undertake to suppress their piracies and give 
peace to all Europe, by means of its influence with the 
Porte. For, all the people of these states being obliged by 
their religion to go at times in caravans to Mecca, and to 
pass through the Grand Seignior's dominions, who gives 
them escorts of troops through the desert, to prevent their 
being plundered and perhaps massacred by the Arabs, he 
could refuse them passage and protection but on condition 
of their living peaceably with the Europeans, &c. He spoke 
of Montgomery's transaction, and of Crocco, who, he under- 
stands, was authorized by the court. The barbarians, he 
observed, having no commercial ships at sea, had vastly the 
advantage of the Europeans; for one could not make re- 
prisals on their trade. And it has long been my opinion, 

VOL. X 2 A 


that, if the European nations, who are powerful at sea, were 
to make war upon us Americans, it would be better for us to 
renounce commerce in our own bottoms, and convert them 
all into cruisers. Other nations would furnish us with what 
we wanted, and take off our produce. He promised me a 
note of the commerce of Barbary, and we are to see each 
other again, as he is to stay here a month. 

Dined at Mr. Grand's, with the Swedish gentlemen. They 

were M. Rosenstein, secretary of the embassy, and , 

with whom I had a good deal of conversation relating to 
the commerce possible between our two countries. I found 
they had seen at Rome Charles Stuart, the Pretender. They 
spoke of his situation as very hard; that France, who had 
formerly allowed him a pension, had withdrawn it, and that 
he sometimes almost wanted bread ! 

July nth. M. Walterstorf called. He hears that the 
agreement with Sweden respecting the port of Gottenburg 
is not likely to be concluded ; that Sweden wanted an island 
in the West Indies in exchange. I think she is better with- 
out it. 

July i^th. MM. Mirabeau and Champfort came and 
read their translation of (American) Mr. Burke's pamphlet 
against the Cincinnati, 1 which they have much enlarged, in- 
tending it as a covered satire against noblesse in general. It 
is well done. There are also remarks on the last letter of 
General Washington on that subject. They say General 
Washington missed a beau moment, when he accepted to be 
of that society (which some affect to call an order}. The 
same of the Marquis de la Fayette. 

1 A pamphlet by yEdanus Burke, of South Carolina, entitled " Considera- 
tions upon the Order of the Cincinnati." ED. 


July I4//&. Mr. Hammond calls to acquaint me, that 
Mr. Hartley is still without any instructions relating to the 
treaty of commerce; and supposes it occasioned by their 
attention to the India bill. I said to him, "Your court and 
this seem to be waiting for one another, with respect to the 
American trade with your respective islands. You are both 
afraid of doing too much for us, and yet each wishes to do a 
little more than the other. You had better have accepted 
our generous proposal at first, to put us both on the same 
footing of free intercourse that existed before the war. You 
will make some narrow regulations, and then France will go 
beyond you in generosity. You never see your follies till 
too late to mend them." He said, Lord Sheffield was con- 
tinually exasperating the Parliament against America. He 
had lately been publishing an account of loyalists murdered 
there, &c. Probably invented. 

Thursday, July i$th. The Duke de Chartres's balloon 
went off this morning from St. Cloud, himself and three 
others in the gallery. It was foggy, and they were soon out 
of sight. But, the machine being disordered, so that the 
trap or valve could not be opened to let out the expanding 
air, and fearing that the balloon would burst, they cut a hole 
in it, which ripped larger, and they fell rapidly, but received 
no harm. They had been a vast height, met with a cloud 
of snow, and a tornado, which frightened them. 

Friday, i6th. Received a letter from two young gentle- 
men 1 in London, who are come from America for ecclesiastical 
orders, and complain that they have been delayed there a 
year, and that the Archbishop will not permit them to be 
ordained unless they will take the oath of allegiance; and 

1 Messrs. Gant and Weemes. See Vol. IX, p. 238. 


desiring to know if they may be ordained here. Inquired, 
and learned that, if ordained here, they must vow obedience 
to the Archbishop of Paris. Directed my grandson to ask 
the Nuncio, if their bishop in America might not be in- 
structed to do it literally ? 

Saturday, ijth. The Nuncio says the thing is impossible, 
unless the gentlemen become Roman Catholics. Wrote 
them an answer. 

Sunday, iSth. A good abbe* brings me a large manu- 
script containing a scheme of reformation of all churches and 
states, religion, commerce, laws, &c., which he has planned 
in his closet, without much knowledge of the world. I have 
promised to look it over, and he is to call next Thursday. 
It is amazing the number of legislators that kindly bring me 
new plans for governing the United States. 

Monday, July igth. Had the Americans at dinner, with 
Mr. White and Mr. Arbuthnot from England. The latter 
was an officer at Gibraltar during the late siege. He says 
the Spaniards might have taken it; and that it is now a 
place of no value to England. That its supposed use as a 
port for a fleet, to prevent the junction of the Brest and 
Toulon squadrons, is chimerical. That while the Spaniards 
are in possession of Algeziras, they can with their gun-boats, 
hi the use of which they are grown very expert, make it im- 
possible for any fleet to lie there. 

Tuesday, 2oth. My grandson went to court. No news 
there, except that the Spanish fleet against Algiers is sailed. 
Receive only one American letter by the packet, which is 
from the College of Rhode Island, desiring me to solicit 
benefactions of the King, which I cannot do, for reasons 
which I shall give them. It is inconceivable why I have no 


letters from Congress. The treaties with Denmark, Por- 
tugal, &c., all neglected ! Mr. Hartley makes the same 
complaint. He is still without orders. Mr. Hammond 
called and dined with me; says Mr. Pitt begins to lose his 
popularity; his new taxes, and project about the navy bills, 
give great discontent. He has been burnt in effigy at York. 
His East India bill not likely to go down ; and it is thought 
he cannot stand long. Mr. Hammond is a friend of Mr. 
Fox; whose friends, that have lost their places, are called 
Fox's Martyrs. 

Wednesday, July 21. Count de Haga 1 sends his card to 
take leave. M. Grand tells me he has bought here my bust 
with that of M. D'Alembert or Diderot, to take with him to 
Sweden. He set out last night. 

Thursday, 22d. Lord Fitzmaurice, son of Lord Shelburne, 
arrives ; brought me sundry letters and papers. 

He thinks Mr. Pitt in danger of losing his majority in the 
House of Commons, though great at present ; for he will not 
have wherewithal to pay them. I said, that governing by a 
Parliament which must be bribed, was employing a very 
expensive machine, and that the people of England would 
in time find out, though they had not yet, that, since the 
Parliament must always do the will of the minister, and be 
paid for doing it, and the. people must find the money to 
pay them, it would be the same thing in effect, but much 
cheaper, to be governed by the minister at first hand, without 
a Parliament. Those present seemed to think the reasoning 
clear. Lord Fitzmaurice appears a sensible, amiable young 

Tuesday, 2^th. Lord Fitzmaurice called to see me. His 

1 The king of Sweden. 


father having requested that I would give him such instruc- 
tive hints as might be useful to him, I occasionally mentioned 
the old story of Demosthenes' answer to one who demanded 
what was the first point of oratory. Action. The second? 
Action. The third? Action. Which, I said, had been 
generally understood to mean the action of an orator with his 
hands, &c., in speaking ; but that I thought another kind of 
action of more importance to an orator, who would persuade 
people to follow his advice, viz. such a course of action in the 
conduct of life, as would impress them with an opinion of his 
integrity as well as of his understanding; that, this opinion 
once established, all the difficulties, delays, and oppositions, 
usually occasioned by doubts and suspicions, were prevented ; 
and such a man, though a very imperfect speaker, would al- 
most always carry his points against the most flourishing ora- 
tor, who had not the character of sincerity. To express my 
sense of the importance of a good private character in public 
affairs more strongly, I said the advantage of having it, and 
the disadvantage of not having it, were so great, that I even 
believed, if George the Third had had a bad private charac- 
ter, and John Wilkes a good one, the latter might have 
turned the former out of his kingdom. Lord Shelburne, 
the father of Lord Fitzmaurice, has unfortunately the char- 
acter of being insincere; and it has hurt much his useful- 
ness ; though, in all my concerns with him, I never saw any 
instance of that kind. 

John Adams declared that Franklin's reputation was more 
universal than that of Leibnitz or Newton, Frederick or 
Voltaire ; and his character more beloved and esteemed than 


any or all of them. Surely there never lived a man more idol- 
ized. Everything about him was imitated and extolled, his 
spectacles, his marten fur cap, his brown coat, his bamboo 
cane. Men carried their canes and their snuffboxes a la 
Franklin, women crowned him with flowers, and every 
patrician house in Paris showed a Franklin portrait on the 
wall, and a Franklin stove in one of the apartments. Busts 
were made of him in Sevres China, set in a blue stone with 
gold border, and barrels of miniatures made of the clay from 
Chaumont found eager purchasers. When Voltaire and 
Franklin kissed each other in the hall of the Academy, the 
enthusiastic sages and tribunes thundered their applause, 
"Behold Solon and Sophocles embrace." * 

His fame was almost as great elsewhere in Europe as in 
France. He was elected to membership in learned societies 
from Russia to Spain. He was appointed one of the eight 
foreign associates of the "Academic des Sciences," an honour 
only once repeated in the history of America, and he was one 
of the four commissioners of that august and learned Society. 
He was elected a member of the Royal Academy of Arts 
and Sciences of Padua (April 26, 1782), of Turin (July 28, 
1783), of La Socie'te' Royale de Physique d'Histoire Naturelle 
et des Arts d'Orleans (April 5, 1785), of the Royal Academy 
of History of Madrid (July 9, 1784), of Rotterdam (Bataafsch 

1 Franklin was present at the Apotheosis of Voltaire at the lodge of the Neuf 
Sceurs, of which he was a member. It was said that if jealousy could enter 
the hearts of Free Masons all the lodges in Paris would envy Neuf Sceurs the 
honour of possessing Franklin as a member. 

Franklin presented his grandson to Voltaire, who said to him, " Love God 
and liberty." Governor Hutchinson was dining with Lord Mansfield when 
the latter told this anecdote. Hutchinson observed that it was difficult to say 
which of those two words had been most used to bad purposes " His Lord- 
ship seemed pleased with my remark." 


Genootschapder Proefondervindelijke Wijsbegeerte), in 1771, 
foreign member of Konigliche Gesellschaft der Wissen- 
schaften at Gottingen, 1766. 

Franklin's vast European reputation rested primarily upon 
his scientific achievement. The eighteenth century was 
restlessly curious about natural phenomena, audacious in its 
inquiry, and sceptical in philosophical speculation. It recog- 
nized and welcomed in Franklin a sagacious, clear-sighted 
observer who had explored strange worlds of thought, and wrung 
new and tremendous secrets from nature's close reserve. The 
mind of Europe, pondering with all the intensity of fresh 
enthusiasm upon natural science, was thrilled and amazed by 
the magnitude and meaning of his researches. He became, 
in a world enamoured of natural science, the object of universal 
interest and admiration. Artists painted him with light- 
nings playing in the background of the picture, or lighting up 
his benign features. Condorcet addressed him as the modern 
Prometheus ; and men of learning, the foremost in their pro- 
fessions, modestly solicited his explication of old problems 
and his judgment upon new theories. 

The audacity of eighteenth-century thought was not con- 
fined to natural science. The spirit of the age interrogated the 
social order, tested its foundations, sank its probe deep into 
the crumbling substance of government and found only decay. 
What seemed so firmly based as to endure forever was built on 
stubble. Through law, religion, letters, politics, a subtle 
poison had diffused itself, and rank corruption mining all 
within infected unseen. The outside was fair and tranquil : 
ancient glories shone upon a radiant Versailles; Lucullus 
feasts were daily given ; gay and silken throngs chattered in 
the dazzling halls of palaces ; red-heeled courtiers dined and 


danced ; while here and there, in town and country, men who 
had drunk bitter draughts of penury and despair saw upon the 
horizon images of portentous things to come. 

Filangieri relentlessly examined the European systems of 
law, civil and criminal, and at each step of his progress turned 
to Franklin for direction. Lorenzo Manini created the 
Cisalpine Republic, and leaned upon the encouraging arm of 
Franklin. The Physiocrats, Dupont de Nemours, Dubourg, 
Mirabeau, Turgot, Morellet, and the venerable apostle, 
Quesnai, were strengthened by the presence of Franklin hi 
their speculative group. 

The great epigram created by the good Turgot Eripuit 
caelo fulmen sceptrumque tyrannis explains the incredible, 
almost fabulous, popularity in which Franklin was held in 
Europe. He was the living presence of the new age, the in- 
carnation of democracy, the successful antagonist of tyrants, 
the builder of happy states founded upon freedom and justice. 
With whatsoever modesty he disclaimed the honour of Turgot's 
epigram, the world persisted hi imputing to him alone the 
creation of the Republic and the triumphant leadership of the 
"dear insurgents." 

He was as unconscious as any fair dame or giddy courtier, 
"born to bloom and drop," of the strong current whose com- 
pulsive course was carrying the nation rapidly and irresist- 
ibly to ruin. During his residence in Paris he enjoyed famil- 
iar intercourse and in some instances close communion with 
those who in another decade, in the wild delirium of the 
Revolution, were to be first in the ranks of death. Elsewhere 
in these volumes is printed a letter to him from an obscure 
young notary in Arras, destined to a sinister history. At the 
mention of his name Robespierre the long bright day of 


French regal splendour wanes, and the mutter of the coming 
storm disturbs the air. Frequently, Franklin received letters 
from a zealous experimenter in science who, withholding his 
true name, signed himself "the Representative." He who 
was then inquiring scientifically into the nature of flame was 
soon to play with wilder fire and help to kindle the most 
tremendous conflagration in history. It was Jean Paul 

Another friend, a physician, associated with Franklin in 
the investigation and exposure of the charlatan Mesmer, 
divulged to him his project of establishing himself and his 
friends in a settlement upon the Ohio River. His friends 
actually wandered to America, but he remained to play a part 
in the Revolution and to see his name Guillotin given 
to that 

" Patent reaper whose sheaves sleep sound 
In dreamless garners under ground." 

The enthusiasm for le grand Franklin became a passion, 
became idolatry. He bore it all with composure ; his seren- 
ity was undisturbed by flattery, his confidence undaunted by 
disaster. He received the tidings of misfortune with a smile 
and a jest. "Howe has taken Philadelphia," mourned 
Paris. "No," said Franklin, " Philadelphia has taken Howe." 
His cheer and confidence became the encouragement and 
the inspiration of France. When rumours of disaster circu- 
lated in the ports of France, the Frenchmen who came to 
condole with Pbre Franklin found the patriarch philosophi- 
cally calm and confident. To all such reports he replied, 
"fa ira, fa ira" "it will go on !" And when dark days 
came for France, in the wild days of the Terror, and men de- 
spaired of everything, they remembered the serenity of the 


great American, and they repeated to each other until the 
repetition became a watchword of hope and courage and 
endurance "fa ira, fa ira." 

Amid all the great life of the court and the salon, he was 
never neglectful of his smaller duties and humbler affairs. 
His mind was capacious of both. He placed his grandson, 
Benjamin Franklin Bache, and the grandson of his old friend 
Samuel Cooper at school in Geneva hi the care of M. Marig- 
nac and examined the reports of their progress and attended 
to their small necessities with the same care that he devoted 
to the grave affairs of state. Elsewhere in this work his 
letters of advice and encouragement to William Temple 
Franklin are printed. At this point it may not be inappro- 
priate to insert a letter of like character written by him to 
Samuel Cooper Johonnot, his Boston friend's grandson. 


Passy, Jan. ? 7. 1782. 


I received your kind good Wishes of a Number of happy 
Years for me. I have already enjoy'd and consum'd nearly 
the whole of those allotted me, being now within a few Days 
of my ySth. You have a great many before you ; and their 
being happy or otherwise will depend upon your own Con- 
duct. If by diligent Study now, you improve your Mind, and 
practice carefully hereafter the Precepts of Religion and Vir- 
tue, you will have in your favour the Promise respecting the 
Life that now is, as well as that which is to come. You will 
possess true Wisdom, which is nearly allied to Happiness: 
Length of Days are in her right-hand, and in her left hand 


Riches and Honours; all her Ways are Ways of Pleasantness, 
and all her Paths are Peace I 

I am glad to hear that you are entitled to a Prize. It will 
be pleasing News to your Friends in New England, that you 
have behav'd so as to deserve it. I pray God to bless you, and 
render you a Comfort to them and an Honour to your Coun- 
try. I am, 

Your affectionate Friend, 




WHEN the joint commission was annulled, John Adams 
returned in the spring of 1779 to America. In a few months 
Arthur and William Lee and Ralph Izard, who had stayed on 
in Paris promoting strife and teasing Franklin with many 
petty annoyances, were commanded to return. Franklin 
enjoyed a free hand and some tranquil moments until John 
Adams was again sent to Europe in February, 1780, to repre- 
sent Congress in any possible negotiations for peace. Adams 
was restive under restraint, and he was jealous of Franklin's 
superior authority. He committed the indiscretion of writing 
long and impertinent letters to Count de Vergennes without 
consulting Franklin. After vainly reminding him that there 
was but one American plenipotentiary in Paris and therefore 
but one person with whom the government could discuss 
questions of policy, the Count de Vergennes sent the entire 
correspondence to Franklin with a request that it should be 


transmitted to Congress. Franklin's letters to De Vergennes 
and Adams are found in Vol. VIII, pp. 117, 118, 123, 147, 
148. The letter from Adams to Vergennes referred to in 
that correspondence is as follows: 

Paris July 27* 1780 

Since my Letter of the Twenty first; and upon reading 
over again your Excellency's Letter to me of the Twentieth, 
I observed one Expression which I think it my Duty to con- 
sider more particularly. 

The Expression I have in view is this, That the King, 
without being sollicited by the Congress, had taken measures 
the most efficacious, to sustain the American Cause. 

Upon this Part of your Letter, I must entreat your Ex- 
cellency to recollect, that the Congress did, as long ago as the 
year Seventeen hundred and seventy six, before Dr. Franklin 
was sent off for France, instruct him, Mr Deane, and Lee, 
to sollicit the king for Six Ships of the Line : and I have reason 
to believe that the Congress have been from that moment 
to this persuaded that the object has been constantly solicited 
by their Ministers at this Court. 

In addition to this, I have every personal as well as public 
motive, to recall to your Excellency's Recollection, a Letter 
or Memorial which was presented to your Excellency in the 
Latter end of the month of December Seventeen Hundred and 
seventy eight, or the beginning of January Seventeen Hundred 
and seventy nine, in which a great variety of arguments were 
adduced to show, that it was not only good Policy, but abso- 
lutely necessary to send a Superiority of naval force to the 
Coasts of the Continent of America. This Letter together 


with your Excellency's Answer acknowledging the receipt of 
it, I transmitted to Congress myself, and their Journals show 
that they received them near a year ago ; So that the Congress, 
I am persuaded, rest in the most perfect Security in the per- 
suasion that everything has been done by themselves, and 
their Servants at this Court to obtain this measure and that 
the necessary arrangements of the King's naval service have 
hitherto prevented it. 

But was it only Suspected by Congress, that a direct appli- 
cation from them to the King, was expected, I am assured 
they would not hesitate a moment to make it. 

I am so convinced by experience, of the absolute necessity 
of more Consultations and communications between His 
Majesty's Ministers, and the Ministers of Congress, thai I am 
determined to omit no Opportunity of communicating my Sen- 
timents to your Excellency, upon everything that appears to me 
of Importance to the common Cause, in which I can do it with 
propriety. And the Communications shall be DIRECT IN 
PERSON, or by Letter, to your Excellency, WITHOUT THE INTER- 
VENTION OF ANY THIRD PERSON. And I shall be very happy, 
and think myself highly honored, to give my poor Opinion 
and Advice to his Majesty's Ministers, upon anything that 
relates to the United States, or the common Cause, whenever 
they shall be asked. 

I wish I may be mistaken, but it could answer no good 
purpose to deceive myself; and I certainly will not disguise 
my Sentiments from your Excellency. I think that Admiral 
Graves, with the Ships before in America, will be able to 
impede the Operations of M. Le Chev' de Ternay, of M. Le 
Comte de Rochambeau and of General Washington, if their 
Plan is to attack New York. 


If there should be a Naval Battle between Chev* de Ternay 
and Admiral Graves the event is uncertain. From the near 
equality of Force and the equality of Bravery, and of naval 
Science, which now prevails everywhere, I think we cannot 
depend upon any thing decisive in such an Engagement, unless 
it be from the particular Character of Graves, whom I know 
personally to be neither a great man nor a great officer. If 
there should be no decision in a naval rencounter, Graves 
and his Fleet must be at New York, and de Temay and his at 
Rhode Island. I readily agree that this will be a great 
advantage to the common Cause, for the Reasons mentioned 
hi my Letter to your Excellency, of the Thirteenth of this 

But Still I beg Leave to suggest to your Excellency, whether 
it would not be for the good of the common Cause, to have 
Still farther Resources in view whether Circumstances 
may not be such in the West Indies, as to enable M' de 
Guichen to dispatch Ships to the Reinforcement of M. de 
Ternay, or whether it may not consist with the King's Service 
to dispatch Ships from Europe for that Purpose, and further 
whether the Court of Spain cannot be convinced of the Policy 
of keeping open the Communication between the United 
States and the French and Spanish Islands in the West Indies, 
so as to cooperate with France and the United States in the 
system of keeping up a constant Superiority of Naval Power 
both upon the Coasts of North America, and the West India 
Islands. This is the true plan which is finally to humble the 
English and give the combined Powers the advantage. 

The English in the Course of the last War, derived all their 
Triumphs upon the Continent of America, and the Islands 
from the succours they received from their Colonies. And I 


am sure that France and Spain with attention to the subject, 
may receive assistance in this war, from the same source 
equally decisive. I have the Honor to be with great respect 
and attachment, Sir, Your Excellency's most obedient, and 
most humble servant 

(Signed) JOHN ADAMS 

Among the unpleasant duties that devolved upon Franklin 
were the adjustment of difficulties between jealous and jarring 
captains, the apportionment of prize money, and the various 
functions that should have been discharged by a consul. The 
quarrel between John Paul Jones and Captain Landais 
caused him much annoyance. It is sufficiently described 
in the correspondence in Vol. VIII, pp. 33, 35, etc. It may 
be proper here to insert a letter from Franklin containing 
a summary of the affair. 


Passy, March 15, 1780. 

GENTLEMEN : I acquainted you in a former letter that there 
were great misunderstandings between Captain Landais and 
the other officers of his ship. These differences arose to such 
a height that the captain once wrote to me he would quit the 
command rather than continue with them. Some of them 
leaving the ship, that disturbance seemed to be quieted. 
But there has since arisen another violent quarrel between him- 
self and Captain Jones. These things give me great trouble, 
particularly the latter, the circumstances of which I am under 
a necessity of communicating to you, that measures may be 
taken for putting properly an end to it by a court-martial, if 


you find that step necessary. Soon after the arrival of our 
little squadron in the Texel I had a letter from Commodore 
Jones, complaining highly of Captain Landais, and mention- 
ing that he was advised to put him under arrest in order to his 
trial by a court-martial, for which, however, there was not a 
sufficient number of officers in Europe. But he would do 
nothing in it until he heard from me. I had another from 
Captain Landais complaining of Commodore Jones, and beg- 
ging me to order inquiry into the matter as soon as possible. 
I received also a letter from the minister of the marine, of 
which the following is an extract viz : 

Je suis persuade", monsieur, que vous n'aurez pas e*te" 
moins touche* que moi de la perte du grand nombre de vol- 
ontaires Franfais qui ont 6t toe's dans le combat du Bon- 
homme Richard centre le vaisseau de guerre anglois le 
Serapis. Get eV&iement est d'autant plus facheux, qu'il 
paroit que si la frigate ame'ricane L 'Alliance avoit seconde" 
le Bonhomme Richard en combattant en m6me tenir 1'avan- 
tage remporte' par le Comm. Jones, auroit e*te plus prompte, 
auroit ccnte* moins de monde, et n'auroit pas mis le Bon- 
homme Richard dans le cas de couler bas trente-six heures 
apres le combat. Le Capitaine de cette frigate ayant tenu 
une conduite tres extraordinaire, je ne doute pas monsieur, 
que vous ne lui mandiez de se rendre aupres de vous pour en 
rendre compte, et que dans le cas oil vous reconnoitrez que 
c'est par sa faute que la victoire a coute tant de sang, vous me 
jugiez a propos d'en informer le Congres, a fin qu'il fasse 
rayer le Capitaine de dessus a liste des officiers de sa marine, 

Upon this, and with the advice of a very respectable friend 
of Captain Landais, M. de Chaumont, who thought sending 

VOL. X 2B 


for him to come to Paris, in order to an inquiry into his con- 
duct, would prevent many inconveniences to the service that 
might attend a more public discussion, I wrote to him October 
15, acquainting him with the principal heads of charges 
against him, and directing him to render himself here, bring- 
ing with him such papers and testimonies as he might think 
useful in his justification. I wrote at the same time to 
Commodore Jones to send up such proofs as he might have 
in support of his charges against the captain, that I might 
be enabled to give a just account of the affair to Congress. In 
two or three weeks Captain Landais came to Paris, but I 
received no answer from Commodore Jones. After waiting 
some days I concluded to hear Captain Landais on the i5th 
of November, without longer delay, and that the impartiality 
of the inquiry might be more clear I requested the above 
named, a friend of Captain Landais, and Dr. Bancroft, a 
friend of Commodore Jones, to be present. With this I sent 
the minutes that were taken on that occasion. 

The justification Captain Landais offers in answer to the 
charge of disobedience of the commodore's orders seems to 
call on me for an expknation of what relates to those I 
had given Captain Landais. The armament was made at 
POrient. M. de Chaumont was present there, and had the 
care of it. I was necessarily at a great distance, and could 
not be consulted on every occasion, and I was not on the 
following. A convoy being wanted for some merchant ships 
to Bordeaux, and our squadron being ready, and there being 
time sufficient, it was employed in and performed that oc- 
casional service. The Alliance and Bon Homme Richard 
afterwards at sea ran foul of each other in the night, the latter 
received great damages, and all returned to L'Orient, the 


state of the crew, as well as that of the ship, making it at first 
doubtful whether the Bon Homme Richard might not be long 
detained in port. I was applied to for the conditional order 
I gave on the 28th of June to Captain Landais. I could not 
foresee that he would think a cruise, for which he was to take 
on board six months' provisions and during which he was to 
be under the orders of Commodore Jones, was accomplished 
by the little trip to Bordeaux and the return above mentioned, 
and that he was therefore no longer under those orders. Nor 
could I imagine that a conditional order for cruising alone, in 
case the Bon Homme could not be ready in time, would, if she 
was ready, and they sailed together, be construed into an ex- 
emption from that subordination hi a squadron which regular 
discipline and the good of the service requires, otherwise I 
should certainly have removed those misapprehensions by 
fresh and very explicit orders. How far Captain Landais is 
justifiable hi those interpretations and his consequent conduct 
must be left to his proper judges. 

The absence of Commodore Jones and of all the witnesses, 
so that none of them could be cross-examined, have made this 
inquiry very imperfect. You will perceive that contradictions 
appear in the evidence on both sides in some very material 
points. Those, with my ignorance in the manceuvering of 
ships engaged, and their possible operations under all the 
variety of circumstances that wind, tide, and situation afford, 
make it as impracticable for me to form, as it would be im- 
proper for me without authority to give, a judgment in this 
affair. I will only take the liberty of saying hi favor of 
Captain Landais that, notwithstanding the mortal quarrel 
that rose between them at sea, it does not appear to me at 
all probable he fired into the Bon Homme Richard with 


design to kill Captain Jones. The inquiry, though imper- 
fect, and the length of it, have, however, had one good effect 
in preventing hitherto a duel between the parties, that would 
have given much scandal, and which I believe will now not 
take place, as both expect justice from a court-martial in 
I have the honor to be, gentlemen, etc. 


Henry Laurens was appointed minister to Holland to 
negotiate a treaty that had been unofficially proposed by 
Van Berckel, the Grand Pensionary. He sailed for Europe 
on the Mercury (Captain Pickles), was captured, September 3, 
1780, put on board the British frigate Vestal, and taken to 
Newfoundland. Thence by order of Admiral Edwards he was 
sent to England in the sloop Fairy, and committed to the 
Tower as a State Prisoner charged with high Treason. 

Franklin was requested to secure his release, or at least 
some mitigation of the severity of his confinement. It was 
reported that his health was suffering by the rigour and 
closeness of his imprisonment. Franklin obtained the fol- 
lowing report (P. H. S.) (October 17, 1780) from his secret 
correspondent, Thomas Digges (William Singleton Church), 
in London: 

"It was not until the i4th Inst. that any Person whatever 
was permitted to see MT Laurens in the Tower. Then after 
repeated Applications for Admission MT Manning and 
M? Laurens's Son, a Youth of 17, or 18, who has been some 
Years at Warrington School got Admission to him. A Permit 
was given them signed by the Lords Hillsborough, Stormont 
and Germain for Half an Hour's Interview, and that the 


Permit did not extend to any future Visit. They found him 
very ill of a lax, much emaciated not low spirited, and bitterly 
invective against the People here, for his harsh Treatment. 
He spoke handsomely of his Treatment whilst on board Ship, 
and of the Capt (Heppel) & Lieut. Norris who attended him 
to London ; but from the period of his landing, he was treated 
with a Brutality, which he did not expect even from Eng- 
lishmen. His Weakness from sickness, and the agitation on 
seeing his Son took up the first 10 of the 30 minutes allowed 
him to converse with his Friends. The Rest was rilled with 
Invective against the authors of this harsh Treatment. His 
outer Room is but a mean one, not more than 12 Feet square 
a dark close Bed-Room adjoining; both indifferently fur- 
nished and a few Books on his Tables : No Pen and Ink has 
yet been allowed him ; but he has a Pencil and Memorandum 
Book in which he occasionally notes Things. The Warden 
of the Tower, & a Yeoman constantly at his Elbow, tho' 
they make no Attempts to stop his conversation. MT Man- 
ning's being the first Visit he has had, perhaps he said every 
Thing he could about the Severity of his Treatment, in Order 
that it might get out, and contradict the General Report of 
being well treated. He has hitherto declined any Physical 
Advice or the Visits of any of those Creatures about him, who 
may be set on to pump. M r Perm is making Application 
to see him, and will likely get Leave. It is doubtful if the Son 
will be able to get Admission a Second Time. His Treat- 
ment being now very generally known, every Person is crying 
out Shame upon it, and the Authors thereof are very much 
abused. It is a Strange Thing to go forth, but it is the general 
received Opinion that the Order for such harsh Treatment 
were in Consequence of an Intimation from the first Man in 


this Country now generally known by the Appelation of 

nFrankluT wrote to his old friend Sir Grey Cooper 
complaining of the harshness of the proceeding. Cooper 
obtained a report from the lieutenant-governor of the Tower 
which he forwarded to Paris. 1 Franklin attempted to nego- 
tiate through Burke an exchange of Laurens and Burgoyne. 2 
At Laurens's request Burke addressed the House in his behalf, 
with the result, as Hodgson told him, that he succeeded in 
"putting another bolt in his door." Laurens's daughter 
besought Franklin's aid. "Is it not a reflection on America," 
she wrote, that one of her Ambassadors, a man of worth and 
credit, should in his Prison be so miserable as to want the com- 
mon necessaries of life, and no notice taken of it ? 

Laurens had been acquainted with Richard Oswald for 
more than thirty years, and his friend, by entering bail for him 
to the amount of 2,000, secured his release upon December 
31, 1781. 

The financing of the Revolution was, no doubt, the greatest 
service that Franklin rendered to America. Without doubt, 
too, the constant necessity of seeking money in Europe was the 
chief annoyance of his life. Upon him devolved the duty of 
negotiating loans and disbursing money. His political ar- 
guments were based upon finance. As he expressed it he had 
to perform the Gibeonite task of drawing water for all the 
congregation of Israel. He made a treaty with the farmers- 
general, whereby cargoes of tobacco from the South were to be 
admitted to the ports of France, and whereby other cargoes 
of saltpetre were to be shipped to America. Fortunately 
Lavoisier was a farmer-general, and his wife was the daughter 

1 See Vol. VIII, p. 165. See Vol. VIII, p. 319. 


of Paulze, another of the farmers of revenue. Here again 
Franklin's scientific reputation gave him a political advantage. 
He installed his nephew Jonathan Williams at Nantes, as an 
American financial agent, whose business was to sell American 
cargoes and invest the money hi the manufactures of France, 
"according as they shall be ordered." Schweighauser, a 
merchant of Nantes, was his active partner. 1 

Congress continually placed orders for supplies, and called 
upon Franklin to pay the bills. Congress, being without 
resources and without power to raise a revenue, was obliged 
to look abroad for loans which were solicited at shortening 
intervals and with most petitionary vehemence. American 
credit was daily in peril through discredited notes. Franklin 
often besought the Congress not to draw further upon him, 
that he was without funds and with no certainty of obtaining 
further loans; still the orders were drawn upon him and 
Congress weakly explained that it was inevitable. 

The United States depended for its maintenance upon 
Franklin. His personality and his unwearying efforts pro- 
vided the means of warfare. The little that was accomplished 
hi Holland was due chiefly to Franklin working through 
Charles Dumas. The little that Spam was induced to do was 
accomplished by Franklin through the Count de Campomanes 
and the Count d'Aranda. But the only substantial aid came 
from France. It is certain that the Independence of America 
was won by the aid of France, and it is equally certain that 
Franklin alone obtained or could obtain that aid. He turned 

1 Schweighauser invested 30,000 livres in the business. Williams's kinship 
to Franklin was an immense benefit to the business. He once said to his 
uncle, " I am treated here with as much respect, as if I were the nephew of a 


the adulation with which he was everywhere greeted into a 
perpetual benefit to his country. 1 He appealed again and 
again to De Vergennes and the king "the most amiable 
and most powerful Prince of Europe" to save American 
credit by additional grants of money. And he never appealed 
in vain. After the financial budgets of the year had been 
made up and closed, applications for money for a particular 
purpose which the government had over and over again pro- 
vided for and furnished, were yet once more favourably heard,. 
and, unwearied by the large and importunate demands, other 
millions were released from the almost exhausted treasury of 

It was often an acute humiliation to Franklin, with his 
lifelong principles and practice of thrift and frugality, to beg 
for loans when he well knew that the French purse was nearly 

His correspondence with De Vergennes turns chiefly upon 
the financial needs of America. Many of these letters have 
already been quoted. The mind of De Vergennes is revealed 
in the following letters replying to Franklin's petitions. 


Versailles, November 26, 1780. 


I have received the letter, which you did me the honour to 
write me on the iQth instant, and with it the resolutions of 

1 The story is told that at a dinner of beaux-esprits, one of the gentlemen, 
in order to engage Franklin in conversation, said to him, " It must be owned 
that America presents at this time a grand and superb spectacle." " Yes," 
answered Franklin, " but the spectators do not pay." " They have paid since," 
said Grimm, commenting upon this story. See " Grimm's Correspondence," 
Vol. I, p. 454 (1778). 


Congress, ordering drafts upon you to the amount of about one 
million four hundred thousand livres. You can easily im- 
agine my astonishment at your request of the necessary funds 
to meet these drafts, since you perfectly well know the ex- 
traordinary efforts, which I have made thus far to assist you, 
and to support your credit; and especially since you cannot 
have forgotten the demands you lately made upon me. 
Nevertheless, Sir, I am very desirous of assisting you out of the 
embarrassed situation in which these repeated drafts of Con- 
gress have placed you ; and for this purpose I shall endeavour 
to procure for you, for the next year, the same aid that I have 
been able to furnish hi the course of the present. I cannot 
but believe, Sir, that Congress will faithfully abide by what 
it now promises you, that in future no drafts shall be made 
upon you, unless the necessary funds are sent to meet them. 
I have the honour to be, Sir, with great sincerity, &c. 



Versailles, 31 December, 1781. 


I have received the letter you did me the honour to write me 
the 27th instant. I shall not enter into an examination of the 
successive variations and augmentations of your demands on 
me for funds to meet your payments. I shall merely remark, 
that, whenever you shall consider yourself fully authorized 
to dispose of the proceeds of the Dutch loan, on behalf of 
Congress, I will propose to M. de Fleury to supply you with 
the million required, as soon as it shall have been paid into 
the royal treasury. But I think it my duty, Sir, to inform you, 
that, if Mr. Morris issues drafts on this same million, I shall 


not be able to provide for the payment of them, and shall 
leave them to be protested. I ought also to inform you, that 
there will be nothing more supplied than the million above 
mentioned; and, if the drafts, which you have already 
accepted, exceed that sum, it must be for you to contrive the 
means of meeting them. I shall make an exception only in 
favour of those of Mr. Morris, provided they shall not exceed 
the remainder of the Dutch loan, after deducting the million, 
which shall be placed at your disposal, and the expenses of 
the loan. I have the honour to be, &c. 


Carmichael, Lee, Dana, and Adams were clamouring for 
money, and every post brought knowledge of fresh drafts 
exciting new alarms. 

John Adams wrote from Leyden, April 10, 1781. 


Leyden, April loth, 1781. 

Relying on your Virtues and Graces of Faith and Hope, 
I accepted the Bills to the amount of ten thousand Pounds 
Sterling drawn in favour of Mr. Tracy. I have received 
advice from Congress of more Bills drawn upon me. When 
they arrive, and are presented, I must write you concerning 
them, and desire you to enable me to discharge them; for 
I am sorry to be obliged to say, that although I have opened 
a Loan according to the best Plan I could, and the Plan and 
the Loan seems to be countenanced by the Public, yet there 
is little Money obtained, scarcely enough to defray the 
Expence of Obligations and Stamps ; and it is more and more 
clear to me, that we shall never obtain a Loan here, until our 


Independence is acknowledged by the States. Till then every 
man seems to be afraid, that his having any thing to do in it, 
will be made a foundation of a criminal Process, or a Provoca- 
tion to the resentment of the Mob. 

The Time is very near, when some of the Bills I accepted 
become payable. I must intreat your Excellency's answer 
to this as soon as convenient, and to point out to me, whether 
you choose that the House of Fitzeau & Grand & Co, or 
any other, should pay the Money. It is a most grievous 
Mortification to me, to find that America has no Credit here, 
while England certainly still has so much ; and to find that no 
Gentleman in public Life here dare return me a Visit or 
answer me a Letter, even those who treated me when I first 
arrived here with great Politeness. I am entreated, however 
to keep this secret, but have no Motive to secrete it from you. 
On the contrary, you ought to know it. I am told there will 
be great alterations very soon ; but I have seen by Experience, 
that no man in this Country knows what will be in the 

Let me ask the favour of you, Sir, to give my best Respects 
to Coll. Laurens and Mr. Franklin. I have the honour to be, 
with the greatest Respect, Sir, your most obedient and most 
humble Servant 


William Bingham, United States agent at Martinique, com- 
plained that the Navy Board instructed commanders of 
vessels to apply to him for supplies, "When, so far from 
having Funds belonging to the Public for such purposes 
Congress is indebted to me by their last audit to the amount 
of 2,400,000 Livres, currency of this island." Finding his 


credit ruined, he drew upon Franklin, declaring that if 
the notes came back protested, he could not pay his 

John Adams wrote again, November 7, 1781, "If the loan so 
long expected from Holland does at length take place, as I am 
told it is likely to do my embarras will I hope be removed 
by it. If not I must scuffle and shift as I can. God help us 
all." Adams was looking to Jean de Neufville, the banker, 
for monetary aid. Franklin suspected that there was little 
to be derived from that source, but at great cost. He told 
Adams, "His professions of disinterestedness with regard to 
his shares are hi my opinion deceitful, and I think that the less 
we have to do with that shark the better ; his jaws are too 
strong, his teeth too many, and his appetite immensely 

After the war was concluded the drafts continued. Laurens 
wrote to Franklin (March 28, 1784) : "I am weary of conjec- 
tures upon this business. Is there a worm at the root of the 
hasty grown Gourd? I find however some consolation hi 
foreseeing that there must be a stop to the evil, and hoping 
the day cannot be far distant. That several of the States are 
to blame for deficiencies I have no doubt, but according to 
my ideas no necessity could sanctify continued drafts under 
a moral certainty of Dishonour. Abundantly more prudent 
would it have been to submit to every Inconvenience at home. 
Creditors then would have worked out their own Salvation, 
and People's eyes would have been opened." 

The following resolutions, transcribed from the original 
document in the French Foreign Office, and with Franklin's 
" note " appended to them, show the desperate straits to 
which he was driven by the urgency of Congress. 



Sept. 14. 1782. 

That a Sum not exceeding four Millions of Dollars, exclusive 
of the Money which M r Adams may obtain by the Loan now 
negociating in Holland, be borrowed in Europe on the 
Faith of the United States of America, and applied towards 
defraying the Expences which shall be incurred, and of those 
which during the present year have been incurred, for carry- 
ing on the War. 


That the Superintendant of Finance and Secretary for 
foreign Affairs, take order for carrying the above Resolution 
into effect transmitting the same without Delay to the Ministers 
Plenipotentiary of these United States at the Court of Ver- 
sailles, and at the Hague. 


That the Minister Plenipotentiary of these United States at 
the Court of Versailles be and he is hereby instructed to 
communicate the foregoing Resolution to his most Christian 
Majesty and to assure his Majesty of the high sense which 
the United States in Congress assembled entertain of his 
Friendship and generous Exertions, their Reliance on a 
Continuance of them, and the necessity of applying to his 
Majesty on the present Occasion. And the said Minister 
is further instructed to cooperate with the Superintendant of 
Finance and Secretary for foreign affairs in the most effectual 
means for giving success to the said Loan. 


September 23'? 1782 

That the Minister Plenipotentiary of the United States at 
the Court of Versailles be informed, that his Letters to the 
Superintendant of Finance and Secretary for foreign affairs 
bearing Date respectively the twenty fifth day of June last 
have been laid before Congress and that notwithstanding the 
Information * contained in those Letters, it is the Direction 
of Congress that he use his utmost Endeavours to effect the 
Loan which by the Resolve of the fourteenth instant is ordered 

to be negociated. 


Extract from the Minutes 

In consequence of this last solicitation, a contract was made 
at Versailles, February 21, 1783, by De Vergennesand Frank- 
lin, from which I quote the second article which sums up 
and explains the various loans obtained by Franklin from 
the government of France. 

"ARTICLE 2* For better understanding the fixing of 
periods for the reimbursement of the six millions at the royal 
treasury, and to prevent all ambiguity on this head, it has been 
found proper to recapitulate here the amount of the preceding 
aids granted by the King to the United States, and to dis- 
tinguish them according to their different classes. 


The information here alluded to, was the last Loan of six Millions, was 
accompanied with the most explicit Declarations to me, that no more was to 
be expected, or could possibly be granted ; and that if I accepted Bills to a 
greater amount, I must seek elsewhere for the Payment of them, as it could 
not be furnish'd here. I also mentioned all the particulars of the King's 
Goodness to us in the Contract by which our Debt was settled; and intreated 
that I might not be forced to disoblige so kind a Friend by new and reit- 
erated Demands. 


" The first is composed of funds lent successively by his 
Majesty, amounting on the whole to the sum of eighteen 
million livres, reimburseable in specie at the Royal Treasury 
in twelve equal portions of a million five hundred thousand 
livres each, besides the Interest, and in twelve years, to com- 
mence from the third year after the date of the peace; the 
Interest beginning to reckon at the date of the peace ; to be 
discharged annually, shall diminish in proportion to the 
reimbursement of the Capital, the last payment of which shall 
expire in the Year 1798. 

"The Second Class comprehends the loan of five million 
Dutch florins, amounting by a moderate valuation to ten 
million Livres Tournois the said Loan made in Holland in 
1781 for the Service of the United States of North America, 
under the engagement of the King to refund the Capital with 
Interest at four per Cent per annum, at the general counter of 
the States General of the United provinces of the Netherlands 
in ten equal portions, reckoning from the sixth year of the 
date of said loan, and under the like engagement on the part 
of the Minister of Congress & in behalf of the 13 United States, 
to reimburse the Committee of said Loan in ready money 
at the royal treasury, with Interest at four per Cent per Annum 
in ten equal portions of a million each, and in ten periods from 
Year to Year, the first of which shall take place in the month 
of Nov* 1787 & the last in the same month 1796; the whole 
conformable to the conditions expressed in the Contract of 
I6'! 1 of July 1782. 

"In the third class are comprehended the Aids and Subsidies 
furnished to the Congress of the United States, under the title 
of gratuitous assistance, from the pure generosity of the King, 
three millions of which were granted before the treaty of 


Feb? 1778 & six millions in 1781, which aids and subsidies 
amount in the whole to Nine Million Livres Tournois. His 
Majesty here confirms in case of need the gratuitous gift to 
the Congress of the said thirteen United States." 

Almost immediately after this contract had been made and 
executed fresh demands were made. Robert Morris, who 
was continued in his office of Superintendent of Finances, 
wrote a letter, full of apologies, in which he said : " My official 
Situation compels me to do things which I would certainly 
avoid under any other Circumstances. Nothing should 
induce me in my private Character to make such Applica- 
tions for Money as I am obliged to in my public Character." 
He stated that the army expected a payment of $700,000, and 
that he was already above half a million dollars in advance 
of his resources by paper anticipation. "I must increase 
the Anticipation immediately to pay monies due on the Con- 
tracts for feeding our Army and I must make them the explicit 
payment by notes to be discharged at a distant day. These 
notes would have to be paid, or credit would be ruined." 

One item hi the contract of February 21, 1783, was to cause 
much annoyance to Franklin. It was stated therein that 
three million livres were furnished before the treaty of Febru- 
ary, 1778, as "gratuitous assistance from the pure generosity 
of the King." Mr. Grand the banker, hi his accounts, cred- 
ited three millions received prior to February, 1778, but he 
included therein a million received from the farmers-general. 
The question was pertinently asked, "What became of the 
third million granted by the king?" Franklin declared 
that all the money granted by the king was paid to Mr. 
Grand. It therefore appeared that the million said to have 


been paid by the farmers-general was "a gratuitous assistance 
from the pure generosity of the King," and that the farmers- 
general were indebted to the United States for the amount 
of the tobacco remitted to them. 

An explanation of when and to whom the third million 
was paid was demanded. Mr. Grand applied to Durival to 
trace the lost million. The result of the inquiry is contained 
in the following correspondence. 


Versailles, 30 August, 1786. 


I have received the letter, which you did me the honour 
to write on the 28th of this month, touching the advance of a 
million, which you say was made by the Farmers- General to 
the United States of America, the 3d of June, 1777. I have 
no knowledge of that advance. What I have verified is, that 
the King, by the contract of the 2$th of February, 1783, has 
confirmed the gratuitous gift, which his Majesty had previ- 
ously made, of the three millions hereafter mentioned, viz. 
one million delivered by the Royal Treasury, the loth of June, 
1776, and two other millions advanced also by the Royal 
Treasury, hi 1777, on four receipts of the Deputies of Con- 
gress, of the 1 7th of January, 3d of April, loth of June, and 
1 5th of October, of the same year. This explanation will, 
Sir, I hope, resolve your doubt touching the advance of the 
3d of June, 1777. I further recommend to you, Sir, to confer 
on this subject with M. Gojard, who ought to be better in- 
formed than we, who had no knowledge of any advances, 
but those made by the Royal Treasury. I have the honour 

to be, &c. 


VOL. X 2C 



Versailles, 5 September, 1786. 


I laid before the Count de Vergennes the two letters which 
you did me the honour to write, touching the three millions, 
the free gift of which the King has confirmed in favour of the 
United States of America. The minister, Sir, observed, that 
this gift has nothing to do with the million, which the Con- 
gress may have received from the Farmers- General in 1777; 
consequently he thinks, that the receipt, which you desire 
may be communicated to you, cannot satisfy the object of 
your view, and that it would be useless to give you the copy 
which you desire. I have the honour to be, with perfect 

attachment, &c. 



Paris, 9 September, 1786. 

The letter you honoured me with, covered the copies of 
three letters, which Mr. Thomson wrote you in order to obtain 
an explanation of a million, which is not to be found in my 
accounts. I should have been very much embarrassed in 
satisfying and proving to him, that I had not put that million 
in my pocket, had I not applied to M. Durival, who, as you 
will see by the answer enclosed, informs me, that there was a 
million paid by the Royal Treasury, on the loth of June, 1776. 
This is the very million about which Mr. Thomson inquires, 
as I have kept an account of the other two millions, which 
were also furnished by the Royal Treasury, viz. the one 
million in January and April, 1777, the other in July and 


October of the same year, as well as that furnished by the 
Fanners- General in June, 1777. 

Here, then, are the three millions exactly, which were given 
by the King before the treaty of 1778, and that furnished by 
the Farmers- General. Nothing then remains to be known, 
but who received the first million in June, 1776. It could not 
be myself, as I was not charged with the business of Congress 
until January, 1777. I therefore requested of M. Durival 
a copy of the receipt for the one million. You have the 
answer, which he returned to me. I have written to him 
again, renewing my request; but, as the courier is just 
setting off, I cannot wait to give you his answer, but 
you will receive it in my next, if I obtain one. In the 
mean while, I beg you will receive the assurances of 
the sentiments of respect, with which I have the honour 
to be, my dear Sir, &c. 



Versailles, 10 September, 1786. 


I have laid before the Count de Vergennes, as you seemed 
to desire, the letter which you did me the honour to write 
yesterday. The minister persists in the opinion, that the 
receipt, the copy of which you request, has no relation to the 
business with which you were intrusted on behalf of Congress, 
and that this document would be useless in the new point of 
view in which you have placed it. Indeed, Sir, it is easy for 
you to prove, that the money in question was not delivered 
by the Royal Treasury into your hands, as you did not begin 
to be charged with the business of Congress until January, 


1777, and the receipt for that money is of the roth of June, 
1776. I have the honour to be, with perfect attachment, Sir, 
& c . DURIVAL. 


Paris, 12 September, 1786. 


I hazard a letter in hopes it may be able to join that of the 
Qth at L'Orient, in order to forward to you the answer I have 
just received from M. Durival. You will there see, that, 
notwithstanding my entreaty, the minister himself refuses to 
give me a copy of the receipt which I asked for. I cannot 
conceive the reason for this reserve, more especially since, if 
there has been a million paid, he who has received it has kept 
the account, and it must in time be known. I shall hear with 
pleasure, that you have been more fortunate in this respect 
in America than I have been in France ; and I repeat to you 
the assurance of the sentiments of regard, with which I have 
the honour to be, &c. GRAND. 

Little more has been learned since this correspondence 
concerning the history of the lost million. It has been traced 
to the door of Beaumarchais's bank. Beyond that point all 
knowledge of it ceases. 



AFTER Cornwallis had been burgoinised, as the French then 
said, and the infant Hercules had strangled the second serpent 
in his cradle, the English government made overtures of 


peace. It was the aim of their diplomacy to divide America 
and France. David Hartley wrote to Franklin that he under- 
stood that America was disposed to enter into a separate 
treaty with Great Britain. Franklin replied, "This has al- 
ways given me more disgust than my friendship permits me 
to express. I believe there is not a man in America a few 
English Tories excepted that would not spurn at the 
thought of deserting a noble and generous friend for the sake 
of a truce with an unjust and cruel enemy. . . . The Con- 
gress will never instruct their Commissioners to obtain a 
peace on such ignominious terms, and though there can be 
but few things in which I should venture to disobey their 
orders, yet if it were possible for them to give such an order 
as this I should certainly refuse to act. I should instantly 
renounce their Commission and banish myself forever from 
so infamous a country." 

To the amazement of Versailles the preliminary articles of 
the treaty of peace between England and the United States 
were concluded without any communication between the 
commissioners and the court of France, although the 
instructions from Congress prescribed that nothing should 
be done without the participation of the king. De Vergennes 
wrote sharply and surprisedly to Franklin, saying, " You are 
wise and discreet, Sir : you perfectly understand what is due 
to propriety : you have all your life performed your duties. 
I pray you to consider how you propose to fulfil those which 
are due to the King? I am not desirous of enlarging these 
reflections; I commit them to your own integrity. 1 In 
reply Franklin confessed to "neglecting a point of bienseance" 
but insisted that nothing had been agreed upon that was 
1 See Franklin's answer, Vol. VIII, p. 642. 


contrary to the interests of France ; and that no peace was to 
take place between America and England until the terms of 
the treaty with France had been concluded. 

Franklin's conduct in this affair has been variously con- 
demned and excused. He desired De Vergennes to keep the 
"little misunderstanding" secret, for he understood that the 
English already flattered themselves that they had divided 
the United States and her ally. The French minister, however, 
consigned a copy of the preliminary articles to M. de la Lu- 
zeme, then minister of France in the United States, and said 
that he thought it proper that the very irregular conduct of 
the commissioners should be brought to the knowledge of 
Congress. Luzerne's representations to Congress almost 
resulted in the abrupt recall of Franklin and his colleagues. 


Versailles, 19 December, 1782. 


With this letter I have the honour to send you a translation 
of the preliminary articles, which the American Plenipoten- 
tiaries have agreed to and signed with those of Great Britain, 
to be made into a treaty when the terms of peace between 
France and England shall be settled. 

You will surely be gratified, as well as myself, with the very 
extensive advantages, which our allies, the Americans, are 
to receive from the peace ; but you certainly will not be less 
surprised than I have been, at the conduct of the Commis- 
sioners. According to the instructions of Congress, they 
ought to have done nothing without our participation. I 
have informed you, that the King did not seek to influence 
the negotiation any further than his offices might be neces- 


sary to his friends. The American Commissioners will not 
say, that I have interfered, and much less that I have wearied 
them with my curiosity. They have cautiously kept them- 
selves at a distance from me. Mr. Adams, one of them, com- 
ing from Holland, where he had been received and served by 
our ambassador, had been in Paris nearly three weeks, with- 
out imagining that he owed me any mark of attention, and 
probably I should not have seen him till this time if I had 
not caused him to be reminded of it. Whenever I have had 
occasion to see any one of them, and inquire of them briefly 
respecting the progress of the negotiation, they have constantly 
clothed their speech in generalities, giving me to understand, 
that it did not go forward, and that they had no confidence in 
the sincerity of the British ministry. 

Judge of my surprise, when, on the 3Oth of November, 
Dr. Franklin informed me that the articles were signed. 
The reservation retained on our account does not save the 
infraction of the promise, which we have mutually made, not 
to sign except conjointly. I owe Dr. Franklin the justice to 
state, however, that on the next day he sent me a copy of the 
articles. He will hardly complain, that I received them with- 
out demonstrations of sensibility. It was not till some days 
after, that, when this minister had come to see me, I allowed 
myself to make him perceive that his proceeding in this abrupt 
signature of the articles had little in it, which could be agree- 
able to the King. He appeared sensible of it, and excused, 
hi the best manner he could, himself and his colleagues. Our 
conversation was amicable. 

Dr. Franklin spoke to me of his desire to send these articles 
to the Congress, and said, that for this purpose he and his 
colleagues had agreed to an exchange of passports with the 


English minister, for the safety of the vessels which should be 
sent. I observed to him, that this form appeared to me dan- 
gerous ; that, the articles being only provisional and dependent 
on the fate of our negotiation, which was then very uncertain, 
I feared this appearance of an intelligence with England, in 
connexion with the signature of the articles, might make 
the people in America think a peace was consummated, and 
embarrass Congress, of whose fidelity I had no suspicion. I 
added many other reasons, the force of which Dr. Franklin, 
and Mr. Laurens who accompanied him, seemed to acknow- 
ledge. They spared nothing to convince me of the confidence, 
which we ought to have hi the fidelity of the United States, 
and they left me with the assurance, that they should conform 
to my wishes. 

You may imagine my astonishment, therefore, when, on 
the evening of the i5th, I received from Dr. Franklin the letter, 
a copy of which is herewith enclosed. The tone of this letter 
seemed to me so singular, that I thought it my duty to write 
the answer, which I likewise send to you. I am ignorant of 
the effect, which this answer may have produced. I have not 
since heard from the American Commissioners. The courier 
has not come for my despatches, and I know not whether he 
has in reality been sent off. It would be singular, after the 
intimation which I have given them, if they should not have 
the curiosity to acquaint themselves with the state of our 
negotiation, that they may communicate the intelligence to 
Congress. This negotiation is not yet so far advanced in 
regard to ourselves, as that of the United States ; not that the 
King, if he had shown as little delicacy hi his proceedings as 
the American Commissioners, might not have signed articles 
with England long before them. There is no essential diffi- 


culty at present between France and England ; but the King 
has been resolved that all his allies should be satisfied, being 
determined to continue the war, whatever advantage may be 
offered to him, if England is disposed to wrong anyone of them. 

We have now only to attend to the interests of Spain and 
Holland. I have reason to hope, that the former will be 
soon arranged. The fundamental points are established, and 
little remains but to settle the forms. I think the United 
States will do well to make an arrangement with Spain. They 
will be neighbours. As to Holland, I fear her affairs will 
cause embarrassments and delays. The disposition of the 
British ministry towards that republic appears to be any thing 
but favourable. 

Such is the present state of things. I trust it will soon be 
better ; but, whatever may be the result, I think it proper that 
the most influential members of Congress should be informed 
of the very irregular conduct of their Commissioners in regard 
to us. You may speak of it not in the tone of complaint. I 
accuse no person; I blame no one, not even Dr. Franklin. 
He has yielded too easily to the bias of his colleagues, who 
do not pretend to recognise the rules of courtesy hi regard to 
us. All their attentions have been taken up by the English, 
whom they have met in Paris. If we may judge of the future 
from what has passed here under our eyes, we shall be but 
poorly paid for all that we have done for the United States, 
and for securing to them a national existence. 

I will add nothing, hi respect to the demand for money, 
which has been made upon us. You may well judge, if 
conduct like this encourages us to make demonstrations of 
our liberality. I am, &c. 




Versailles, 25 December, 1782. 


I have the honour to send you my despatches for the 
Chevalier de la Luzerne. The packet is voluminous, but it 
contains many duplicates. 

I should be glad if it were in my power to inform him, that 
our treaty is in as good progress as yours, but this is far 
from being the case. I cannot even foresee what will be 
the issue, for difficulties multiply. It will be well for you to 
forewarn the Congress to be prepared for whatever event may 
arise. I do not despair; I rather hope; but as yet all is 
uncertainty. I have the honour to be, Sir, &c. 


Why did Franklin sully his reputation in France at the 
end of his diplomatic career? Why did he consent to the 
wish of his colleagues to ignore the instructions of Congress ? 
He must not be too severely judged. The occasion was one 
of great moment. Vast consequences depended upon the 
deliberations of the Peace Commissioners. John Adams 
was stubborn, prejudiced, implacable. John Jay was 
suspicious, and, where the French character was concerned, 
misinformed and mistrustful. John Adams wrote hi his diary : 
"Mr. Jay likes Frenchmen as little as Mr. Lee and Mr. 
Izard did. He says they are not a moral people ; they know 
not what it is; he don't like any Frenchman; the Marquis 
de Lafayette is clever, but he is a Frenchman." The Eng- 
lish envoys debated earnestly the questions of the fisheries 
and compensation to the Loyalists. When these important 


concessions were made and the American commissioners got 
all that they had contended for, there was an irresistible desire 
to have the treaty signed and peace secured. It is just possible, 
too, that Jay and Franklin knew of the existence of a secret 
treaty between France and Spain in accordance with which 
peace with England was to depend upon her restitution of 
Gibraltar to Spain, and the abolition of the treaties relating 
to the fortifications of Dunkirk. 

The first step in the negotiations for peace was taken when 
Franklin wrote to his friend, Lord Shelburne, March 22, 1782, 
congratulating him upon the triumph of the Whigs in the 
House of Commons, expressing the hope that it would be 
productive of a "general peace," and in the same breath 
telling him that Madame Helve'tius had been made very 
happy by receiving in good order some gooseberry bushes 
which his Lordship had sent her. Shelburne became secretary 
of state for the northern department, including America; 
Charles James Fox was secretary for the southern department, 
which included France. Shelburne and Fox belonged to 
opposing factions of the Whig party, and were not likely to 
act in concert when one by virtue of his office could deal with 
De Vergennes only, and the other was limited by his office 
to negotiations with Franklin only. The first envoy to appear 
in Paris was Richard Oswald, a very honest Scot, who pre- 
sented to Franklin letters from Shelburne and Henry Laurens. 
"He is fully apprised of my mind," wrote Shelburne, "and 
you may give full credit to everything he assures you of." 
From him Franklin learned that the new Ministry earnestly 
desired peace, and was willing to recognize the independence 
of America. Upon the i8th of April, Franklin, Oswald, 
and De Vergennes met, and in a prolonged interview Oswald 


was assured that France could not treat without the con- 
currence of her allies, and that the United States would not 
treat but in concert with France. Franklin has set forth with 
minute care the history of the proceedings that followed in 
his "Journal of the Negotiations for Peace with Great 
Britain" (see Vol. VIII, pp. 459-560). Mr. Oswald was an 
old and valued friend of Mr. Laurens ; his secretary, Caleb 
Whitefoord, was a close friend of Franklin, whose intimacy, 
he said, has been "the Pride and Happiness of my Life." 
Whitefoord had long been a sincere well-wisher to America, 
and no one lamented more the unhappy quarrel between the 
colonies and the parent state. 1 Among his papers, now in the 
British Museum, is the following manuscript note concerning 
the Treaty of Peace. 

" First time of dining at Dr. F's Mons* asked me 

if I thought we should soon have Peace I said, I could not 
speak for authority, but I believed that would depend on the 
moderation of the French Ministers and on their proposing 
equitable Terms, that if they insisted on any articles disgrace- 
ful to Great Britain, that the People would rather spend their 
last shilling than submit to them. Mons r replied that the 
Ministers profess'd as great moderation as could be desired. 
That France had nothing to ask for herself ; she had gain'd 
the objects for which she took up Arms, viz. the Indepen- 
dance of her American allies and the Freedom of Navigation. 
She had acquired Glory & was not desirous of acquiring 
Territory especially at so great Distance. That she had 

1 Whitefoord presented to the Royal Society a portrait of Franklin by 
Wright, to whom VTiitefoord gave the commission in 1782. On the day that 
he received from the Royal Society a letter of thanks for his gift he received 
notice of his election to membership in The American Philosophical Society. 


Empire enough; these he believed were the sentiments of 
the French Ministers, but as to their Allies, he did not know 
what they might ask. He talk'd of the bad Policy of going to 
War with our Colonies. I told him I was not the Minister. 
He said the last Peace we made was a very bad one, I replied 
I thought it was too good. He talked of the growing greatness 
of America; & that the thirteen United States would form 
the greatest Empire in the World. Yes sir, I replied & 
they will all speak English, every one of 'em. His Triumph 
was check'd, he understood what was intended to be con- 
vey 'd, viz. that from a similarity of Language Manners and 
Religion that great Empire would be English not French." 

On Wednesday, September 3, 1783, the definitive treaty 
was signed at David Hartley's apartments at theHdtel de 
York, in Paris. On the same day the treaty between Eng- 
land and France was signed at Versailles. 

Franklin despatched one week later the following letter 
to the President of Congress. 


Passy, September 10, 1783 


On the 3d instant definitive treaties of peace were con- 
cluded between all the late belligerent powers, except the 
Dutch, who, the day before, settled and signed preliminary 
articles of peace with Britain. 

We most sincerely and cordially congratulate Congress 
and our country in general on this happy event, and we 
hope that the same kind Providence which has led us through 
a rigorous war to an honourable peace will enable us to make 
a wise and moderate use of that inestimable blessing. 


We have committed a duplicate original of the treaty to 
the care of Mr. Thaxter, who will go immediately to L'Orient, 
whence he will sail in the French packet to New York. That 
gentleman left America with Mr. Adams as his private 
secretary, and his conduct having been perfectly satisfactory 
to that minister, we join in recommending him to the atten- 
tion of Congress. We have ordered Mr. Grand to pay him 
one hundred and thirty louis d'ors, on account of the reason- 
able expenses to be incurred by his mission to Congress, and 
his journey from thence to his family at Hingham, in the 
Massachusetts Bay ; for the disposition of this money he is to 

The definitive treaty being in the terms of the provisional 
articles, and not comprehending any of the objects of our 
subsequent negotiations, it is proper that we give a summary 
account of them. 

When Mr. Hartley arrived here, he brought with him only 
a set of instructions signed by the king. We objected to 
proceeding with him until he should have a commission in 
form. This occasioned some delay; a proper commission 
was, however, transmitted to him, a copy of which was shortly 
after sent to Mr. Livingston. 

We having been instructed to obtain if possible an article 
for a direct trade to the West Indies, made to Mr. Hartley 
the proposition No. i. 

He approved of it greatly, and recommended it to his 
court, but they declined assenting to it. 

Mr. Hartley then made us the proposition No. 2, on 
being asked whether he was authorized to sign it hi case we 
agreed to it, he answered in the negative. We therefore 
thought it improper to proceed to the consideration of it 


until after he should have obtained the consent of his court 
to it. We also desired to be informed whether his court 
would or would not comprehend Ireland in their stipula- 
tions with us. 

The British cabinet would not adopt Mr. Hartley's propo- 
sitions, but their letters to him were calculated to inspire 
us with expectation that, as nothing but particular local cir- 
cumstances, which would probably not be of long duration, 
restrained them from preferring the most liberal system of 
commerce with us, the ministry would take the earliest op- 
portunity of gratifying their own wishes as well as ours on 
that subject. 

Mr. Hartley then made us the proposition No. 3. At this 
time we were informed that letters for us had arrived in 
France from Philadelphia. We expected to receive instruc- 
tions in them, and told Mr. Hartley that this expectation 
induced us to postpone giving him an answer for a few days. 

The vessel by which we expected to receive those letters, 
it seems, had not brought any for us ; but, at that time, in- 
formation arrived from America that our ports were all 
opened to the British vessels. Mr. Hartley, therefore, did 
not think himself at liberty to proceed until after he should 
communicate that intelligence to his court and receive their 
further instructions. 

Those further instructions never came, and thus our en- 
deavours as to commercial regulations proved fruitless. We 
had many conferences, and received long memorials from 
Mr. Hartley on the subject, but his zeal for systems friendly 
to us constantly exceeded his authority to concert and agree 
to them. 

During the long interval of his expecting instructions, for 


his expectations were permitted to exist almost to the last, 
we proceeded to make and receive propositions for perfect- 
ing the definitive treaty. Details of all the amendments, 
alterations, objections, exceptions, etc., which occurred in 
these discussions, would be voluminous. We finally agreed 
that he should send to his court the project or draft of a 
treaty No. 4. He did so, but after much time, and when 
pressed by France, who insisted that we should all conclude 
together, he was instructed to sign a definitive treaty in the 
terms of the provisional articles. 

Whether the British court meant to avoid a definitive 
treaty with us through a vain hope from the exaggerated 
accounts of divisions among our own people, and want of 
authority in Congress that some resolution might soon hap- 
pen in their favour, or whether their dilatory conduct was 
caused by the strife of the two opposite and nearly equal 
parties in the cabinet, is hard to decide. 

Your Excellency will observe that the treaty was signed at 
Paris, and not at Versailles. Mr. Hartley's letter No. 5 and 
our answer No. 6 will explain this. His objections, and in- 
deed our proceedings in general, were communicated to the 
French minister, who was content that we should acquiesce, 
but desired that we would appoint the signing early in the 
morning, and give him an account of it at Versailles by ex- 
press, for that he would not proceed to sign on the part of 
France till he was sure that our business was done. 

The day after the signature of the treaty Mr. Hartley 
wrote us a congratulatory letter No. 7, to which we returned 
the answer No. 8. 

He is gone to England, and expects soon to return, which 
for our part we think uncertain. We have taken care to 


speak to him in strong terms on the subject of the evacua- 
tion of New York and the other important subjects proper 
to be mentioned to him. We think we may rely on his doing 
every thing in his power to influence his court to do what 
they ought to do ; but it does not appear that they have as 
yet formed any settled system for their conduct relative to 
the United States. We cannot but think that the late and 
present aspect of affairs in America has had, and continues 
to have, an unfavourable influence, not only in Britain, but 
throughout Europe. 

In whatever light the article respecting the Tories may be 
viewed in America, it is considered in Europe as very humiliat- 
ing to Britain, and therefore as being one which we ought in 
honour to perform and fulfil with the most scrupulous regard 
to good faith and in a manner least offensive to the feelings 
of the king and court of Great Britain, who upon that point 
are extremely tender. 

The unseasonable and unnecessary resolves of various 
towns on this subject, the actual expulsion of Tories from 
some places, and the avowed implacability of almost all who 
have published their sentiments about the matter, are cir- 
cumstances which are construed, not only to the prejudice 
of our national magnanimity and good faith, but also to the 
prejudice of our governments. 

Popular committees are considered here, as with us, in 
the light of substitutes to constitutional government, and as 
being only necessary in the interval between the removal of 
the former and the establishment of the present. 

The Constitutions of the different States have been trans- 
lated and published, and pains have been taken to lead 
Europe to believe that the American States not only made 

VOL. X 2 D 


their own laws, but obeyed them; but the continuance of 
popular assemblies, convened expressly to deliberate on 
matters proper only for the cognizance of the different legis- 
latures and officers of government, and their proceeding not 
only to ordain, but to enforce their resolutions, has exceedingly 
lessened the dignity of the States in the eyes of these nations. 

To this we may also add that the situation of the army, 
the reluctance of the people to pay taxes, and the circum- 
stances under which Congress removed from Philadelphia 
have diminished the admiration in which the people of 
America were held among the nations of Europe, and some- 
what abated their ardour for forming connections with us 
before our affairs acquire a greater degree of order and 

Permit us to observe that in our opinion the recommenda- 
tion of Congress promised in the fifth article should im- 
mediately be made on the terms of it and published, and that 
the States should be requested to take it into consideration 
as soon as the evacuation of the enemy shall be completed. 
It is also much to be wished that the legislatures may not 
involve all the Tories in banishment and ruin ; but that such 
discriminations may be made as to entitle their decisions 
to the approbation of disinterested men and dispassionate 

On the yth instant we received your Excellency's letters of 
the 1 6th June last, covering a resolution of Congress of the 
ist May, directing a commission to us for making a treaty 
of commerce, etc., with Great Britain. This intelligence 
arrived very opportunely to prevent the anti-American party 
in England from ascribing any delays on our parts to motives 
of resentment to that country. Great Britain will send a 


minister to Congress as soon as Congress shall send a minister 
to Britain, and we think much might result from that meas- 

The information of Mr. Dumas, that we encouraged the 
idea of entering into engagements with the Dutch to defend 
the freedom of trade, was not well founded. Our senti- 
ments on that subject exactly correspond with those of Con- 
gress, nor did we even think or pretend that we had authority 
to adopt any such measures. 

We have reasons to think that the Emperor of Russia and 
other commercial nations are ready to make treaties of com- 
merce with the United States. Perhaps it might not be im- 
proper for Congress to direct their disposition on the subject 
be communicated to those courts, and thereby prepare the 
way for such treaties. 

The Emperor of Morocco has manifested a very friendly 
disposition towards us. He expects, and is ready to receive, 
a minister from us, and as he may either change his mind 
or may be succeeded by a prince differently disposed, a 
treaty with him may be of importance. Our trade to the 
Mediterranean will not be inconsiderable, and the friend- 
ship of Morocco, Algiers, Tunis, and Tripoli may become 
very interesting in case the Russians should succeed hi their 
endeavours to navigate freely into it by Constantinople. Much, 
we think, will depend on the success of our negotiations with 
England. If she could be prevailed upon to agree to a 
liberal system of commerce, France, and perhaps some other 
nations, will follow her example; but if she should prefer 
an extensive monopolizing plan, it is probable that her 
neighbours will continue to adhere to their favourite 


Were it certain that the United States could be brought to 
act as a nation, and would jointly and fairly conduct their 
commerce on principles of exact reciprocity with all nations, 
we think it probable that Britain would make extensive con- 
cessions. But, on the contrary, while the prospect of dis- 
union in our council, or want of power and energy in our 
executive department exists, they will not be apprehensive 
of retaliation, and consequently lose their principal motive 
to liberality. Unless, with respect to all foreign nations and 
transactions, we uniformly act as an entire united nation, 
faithfully executing and obeying the constitutional acts of 
Congress on those subjects, we shall soon find ourselves in 
the situation in which all Europe wishes to see us, viz., as 
unimportant consumers of her manufactures and pro- 
ductions, and as useful labourers to furnish her with raw 

We beg leave to assure Congress that we shall apply our 
best endeavours to execute the new commission to their satis- 
faction, and punctually obey such instructions as they may 
be pleased to give us relative to it. Unless Congress should 
have nominated a secretary to that commission we shall con- 
sider ourselves at liberty to appoint one ; and as we are well 
satisfied with the conduct of Mr. W. T. Franklin, the secretary 
of our late commission, we propose to appoint him, leaving 
it to Congress to make such compensation for his services as 
they may judge proper. 

Count de Vergennes communicated to us a proposition 
(viz., No. 9, herewith enclosed) for explaining the second 
and third articles of our treaty with France in a matter 
different from the sense in which we understood them. This 
being a matter in which we had no right to interfere, we have 


not expressed any opinion about it to the Count. With great 
respect we have the honour to be, sir, your Excellency's most 

obedient and most humble servants, 


[Signed] B. FRANKLIN 




WITH no assistance, save the slight help furnished by his 
grandson, an inexperienced boy who was more familiar 
than he with the French language, surrounded by spies 
and beset by jealous and malicious foes, Franklin performed 
alone the varied duties of merchant, consul, commissioner, and 
plenipotentiary. He bought and sold ships, adjusted diffi- 
culties between rival commanders, pacified mutinous crews 
clamouring for prizes, purchased arms and clothing for the 
Continentals, recommended soldiers and sailors for the army 
and navy in America, made treaties with the farmers-general, 
influenced the policy of foreign newspapers, honoured the 
large and constant drafts of the Congress, and persuaded 
the French government to advance large sums of money to 
relieve the desperate necessities of America. 

But his life was not all toil. He lightened the burden and 
forgot his worries by social diversions. He was admired by 
philosophers and petted by society; and he found himself 
as much at home in the salon of Madame d'Houdetot or 
Madame Helve'tius as in the laboratory of Lavoisier, the 


clinic of Vicq d'Azyr, or the cabinet of Vergennes. Never 
lived a man more idolized. Curious crowds followed him 
with applause when he walked abroad; men carried their 
canes and their snuff-boxes a la Franklin, fair women crowned 
him with flowers, and wrote him roguish letters affectionately 
addressed to "dear amiable Papa." 

A list of the names upon the visiting cards found among 
Franklin's private papers would be an index of the society 
of Paris before the Revolution. Those that most frequently 
appear are La Duchesse d'Enville, Due de la Rochefoucauld, 
M. Turgot, Due de Chaulnes, Comte de Crillon, Vicomte de 
Sarsfield, M. Brisson, of the Royal Academy of Sciences, 
Comte de Milly, Prince des Deuxponts, Comte d'Estaing, 
Marquis de Mirabeau, M. Beaugeard, Treasurer of the 
State of Brittany. 

Twice a week he dined with Madame Brillon at Moulin 
Joli, every Saturday with Madame Helve"tius at Auteuil, and 
more irregularly but still frequently with Madame d'Houdetot 
at Sanois. He was a social creature and loved cheerful com- 
panionship, chess, conversation, and music, nor was he, 
maugre the gout and the gravel, in any wise averse to the 
pleasures of the table. His dinners at home when he enter- 
tained his friends on Sunday at Passy were carefully studied, 
and his household accounts speak of large and learned pur- 
chases of the best vintages of France. His appetite for 
sawdust-pudding belonged only to the days of his apprentice- 
ship. At sixty he was fond of an afternoon of salt fish and 
brandy at the George and Vulture with Anthony Todd, and 
was rather proud of discomfiting Lord Clare at a claret- 
drinking. Ten years later he made careful collections of 
menus, and declared that he would rather bring back from 


Italy a receipt for Parmesan cheese than the rarest inscrip- 
tion that archaeology had unearthed. A glass or two of 
champagne sufficed to put him in good humour, but before 
the dinner was over, he confessed to Mrs. Hewson, he often 
drank more than a philosopher should. He was particularly 
partial to the wines of Burgundy, and brought on access of 
gout with the copious draughts of Nuits with which Cabanis 
plied him at Auteuil. But he was also fond of Madeira, and 
liked to gossip with his friend Strahan over the second 

The brother-in-law of the Chevaliere d'Eon sent him a 
cask of Burgundy from that strange creature's vineyard. 
M. de Bays, sub-delegate of the Intendance of Bourgogne, 
presented him with a basket of the best Burgundy to cele- 
brate the Treaty of Peace. David Hartley supplied him 
with Jamaica rum. From Thomas Jordan, the brewer, he 
received a cask of porter which he broached in Philadelphia, 
when "its contents met with the most cordial reception and 
universal approbation." 

He was very susceptible to female charms. Madame 
Brillon wrote to him, " You permit your wisdom to be broken 
against the rocks of femininity." Writing from Paris to Mrs. 
Partridge, he said, "You mention the kindness of the French 
ladies to me. I must explain that matter. This is the 
civilest nation upon earth. Your first acquaintances en- 
deavour to find out what you like and they tell others. If 'tis 
understood that you like mutton, dine where you will you find 
mutton. Somebody, it seems, gave it out that I lov'd ladies ; 
and then everybody presented me their ladies (or the ladies 
presented themselves) to be embraced that is to have their 
necks kissed. For as to kissing of lips or cheeks, it is not 


the mode here; the first is reckoned rude, and the other 
may rub off the paint." 

In America, the chief friends with whom he indulged in 
careless banter and frivolous correspondence were "Caty" 
Ray, afterwards the wife of William Greene, governor of 
Rhode Island, and Elizabeth Partridge, ne'e "Betsey" Hub- 
bard. In England he found his most cheerful diversion with 
Mrs. Mary Hewson and Georgiana Shipley (daughter of the 
Bishop of St. Asaph). Liberal portions still exist of his cor- 
respondence in France with Mesdames Brillon, D'Houdetot, 
Helv&ius, Foucault, Forbach, and Le Veillard. 

It was to Madame Brillon that Franklin addressed the 
first of his famous bagatelles. He has told the circumstances 
in a letter to William Carmichael. 

"The person to whom it ['The Ephemera'] was ad- 
dressed is Madame Brillon, a lady of most respectable char- 
acter and pleasing conversation; mistress of an amiable 
family in this neighbourhood, with which I spend an evening 
twice in every week. She has, among other elegant accom- 
plishments, that of an excellent musician; and, with her 
daughters who sing prettily, and some friends who play, she 
kindly entertains me and my grandson with little concerts, a 
cup of tea, and a game of chess. I call this my Opera, for I 
rarely go to the Opera at Paris." 

M. Brillon was a French official of good estate and con- 
siderable income. His wife was much younger than he, 
and according to Miss Adams "one of the handsomest women 
in France." Franklin attempted hi vain to arrange a mar- 
riage between her daughter and his grandson. Every Wed- 
nesday and Saturday he visited her and in the intervening 
days letters were swift and intelligent between them. "Do 


you know, my dear Papa," she wrote to him, "that people 
have the audacity to criticise my pleasant habit of sitting 
upon your knees, and yours of always asking me for what I 
always refuse?" "I despise slanderers and am at peace 
with myself, but that is not enough, one must submit to what 
is called propriety (the word varies in each century in each 
country), to sit less often on your knees. I shall certainly 
love you none the less, nor will our hearts be more or less 
pure ; but we shall close the mouths of the malicious and it 
is no slight thing even for the secure to silence them." 

In the great collection of Franklin's papers in The American 
Philosophical Society are one hundred and nineteen letters 
from Madame Brillon, sparkling with wit and full of interest- 
ing history. The rough drafts, also, of some of Franklin's 
letters to her exist in the same collection, some of them writ- 
ten in his halting French and corrected by her pen. These 
letters have not hitherto been printed. They illuminate the 
character of Franklin and show the great man in idle hours 
when free of the weary burden of public business. Most of 
them are undated, but I have tried to arrange them as 
nearly as possible in what would appear to have been their 
chronological order. 



2nd November, 1778. 

The hope that I had of seeing you here, my dear Papa, 
prevented my writing to you for Saturday's tea. Hope is the 
remedy for all our ills. If one suffers, one hopes for the end 
of the trouble ; . if one is with friends, one hopes to remain 
with them ; if one is away from them, one hopes to go to them, 


and this is the only hope that is left to me. I shall count 
the days, the hours, the minutes ; each minute passed brings 
me nearer to you. We like to watch when it is the only 
means of uniting us to those whom we love. Man, who 
takes life thus, tries unceasingly to shorten it; he plans, 
desires ; without the future, it seems to him that he possesses 
nothing. When my children are grown up in ten years 
the trees in my garden will shade me. The years pass, and 
then one regrets them. I might have done such and such a 
thing, one says then. Had I not been only twenty-five years 
old, I would not have done the foolish thing that I now repent 
of. The wise man alone enjoys the present, does not regret 
the past, and waits peacefully for the future. The wise man, 
who, like you, my Papa, has passed his youth in gathering 
knowledge and enlightening his fellows, and his ripe years in 
obtaining liberty for them, can cast a complaisant look on the 
past, enjoy the present, and await the reward of his labour in 
the future ; but how many are wise ? I try to become so, and 
am, in some ways : I take no account of wealth, vanity has 
small hold on my heart ; I like to do my duty ; I freely forgive 
society its errors and injustices. But I love my friends with an 
idolatry that often does me harm : a prodigious imagination, a 
soul of fire will always give them the ascendant over all my 
plans and my thoughts. I see, Papa, that I must pretend to 
but one perfection that of loving the most that is possible. 
May this quality make you love your daughter always ! 

Will you not write me a word ? a word from you gives me 
so much pleasure. It is always very good French to say, 
" Je vous aime." My heart always goes out to meet this word 
when you say it to me. 

You always know how to join great wisdom to a grain 


of roguishness ; you ask Brillon for news of me just when you 
are receiving a letter from me; you act the neglected one, 
just when you are being spoiled, and then you deny it like 
a madman when the secret is discovered. Oh, I have news of 

Good-bye, my kind Papa. Our good neighbours are going ; 
there will be no more days for tea, where one can find you. 
I will write to you in spite of this, at least once a week. May 
my letters give you some pleasure, as to love you and to tell 
you so is my heart's need. I have the honour to be, 

Your very humble and very obedient servant, 


I was at a fine place (Erme'nonville), yesterday, where you 
are respected and wanted. I said I hoped we should go there 
together, some day ; they spoke to me of you only. You can 
judge that, without knowing it, they could not have pleased 
me better. 

Mama, my children, and Mile. Jupin present you their 
respects. May I venture to beg you to give my kind regards 
to Mr. Franklinet? 


nth May, 1779. 

You are quite right, my good Papa, true happiness should 
consist for us only in peace of mind ; it is not in our power 
to change the nature of those with whom we live, nor to pre- 
vent the contrarieties that surround us. It is a wise man who 
speaks, and who tries to advise his too sensitive daughter by 
teaching her the truth. Oh, my Papa, I beg for your friend- 
ship, your healthy philosophy ; my heart listens and submits 
to you. Give me strength that it may take the place of an 


indifference your child can never feel. But admit, my friend, 
that for one who knows how to love, ingratitude is a frightful 
ill ; that it is hard for a woman who would give her life without 
hesitation to insure her husband's happiness to see the result of 
her care and her desires taken away by intrigue, and falseness. 
Time will make all right : my Papa has said so, and I believe it. 
But my Papa has also said that time is the stuff of which life 
is made. My life, my friend, is made of fine and thin stuff, 
that grief tears cruelly ; if I had anything to reproach myself 
with, I should long have ceased to exist. My soul is pure, 
simple, frank. I dare to tell my Papa so ; I dare to tell him 
that it is worthy of him ; I dare still assure him that my con- 
duct, which he has considered wise, will not belie itself, that 
I will await justice in patience, that I will follow the advice 
of my honourable friend with firmness and confidence. 

Adieu, you whom I love so much, my kind Papa. 
Never call me anything but "my daughter." Yesterday you 
called me " Madame," and my heart shrank, I examined my- 
self, to see whether I had done you any wrong, or if I had 
some failings that you would not tell me of. Pardon, my 
friend ; I am not reproaching you, I am accusing myself of 
a weakness. I was born much too sensitive for my happiness 
and for that of my friends ; cure me, or pity me, if you can do 
one and the other. 

To-morrow, Wednesday, you will come to tea, will you 
not ? Believe, my Papa, that the pleasure I take in receiving 
you is shared by my husband, my children, and my friends; 
I cannot doubt it, and I assure you of it. 

To this letter Franklin replied : 

"Vous m'avez dit, ma chere fille, que votre cceur est 
trop sensible. Je vois bien dans vos lettres que cela est 


trop vrai. D'etre fort sensible de nos propres fautes, c'est 
bon; parce que cela nous mene de les eviter en futur; mais 
d'etre fort sensible et afflige* des fautes d'autres gens n'est pas 
bon. C'est a eux d'etre sensible la et d'etre afflige'es de ce qu'ils 
avaient mal fait ; pour nous, nous devons rester en tranquil- 
ite qui est le droit et la partage de 1'innocence et la vertu. 
Mais vous dites 'que PIngratitude est un mal affreux.' 
C'est vrai aux ingrats mais non pas a leurs bienfaiteurs. 
Vous ayez confe're' des bienfaits sur ceux que vous en avez 
cru digne ; vous avez done fait votre devoir, puisque c'est de 
notre devoir d'etre bienfaisants et vous devez etre satisfait 
de cela et heureux dans la reflection. S'ils sont des ingrats 
c'est leur crime et non pas le votre ; et c'est a eux d'etre mal- 
heureux quand ils reflechissent sur la turpitude leur conduite 
envers vous. S'ils vous font des injures, reflechissez que 
quoique ils peuvent etre auparavant vos e*gaux ils se sont 
place's par cette moyen au-dessous de vous ; si vous vous 
vengez en les punissant exactement vous leur restituez leur e*tat 
d'e'galite' qu'ils avoient perdu. Mais si vous les pardonnez 
sans leur dormer aucune punition vous les fixez dans cette 
bas e*tat ou ils sont tombe* et d'ou ils ne peuvent jamais sortir 
sans vraie repentance et pleine reparation. Suivez done, ma 
tres chere et toujours aimable fille, la bonne resolution que 
vous avez prise si sagement de continuer a remplir tous vos 
devoirs comme bonne mere, bonne femme, bonne amie, 
bonne prochaine, bonne Chre'tienne, etc. et negligez et oubliez 
s'il est possible les injures qu'on peut vous faire a present ; et 
soyez assure" qu'avec le terns la rectitude de votre conduite 
gagnera sur les esprits meme des gens les plus mauvaises et 
encore plus sur ceux des personnes qui sont au fond d'un 
bon naturel et qui ont aussi du bon sens quoique pour le 


present peut-etre un peu e*garees par Partifice des autres. 
Alors tous vous demanderont avec componction le retour de 
votre amitie et deviendront pour 1'avenir de vos plus ze'le's 

" Je suis sensible que j'ai e"crit ici beaucoup de tres mauvais 
francais; cela peut vous degouter vous qui e"crivez cette 
langue charmante avec tant de purete et d'e'le'gance. Mais si 
vous pouvez en fin dechiffrer mes expressions gauches et 
impropres vous aurez peut-6tre au moins cette espece de 
plaisir qu'on a en expliquant les e*nigmes ou decouvrant des 

Franklin sent Madame Brillon his "Dialogue with the 
Gout," and accompanied it with the following undated letter. 

"Je vous renvoie ma tres chere fille, puisque vous voulez 
absolument le ravoir le brouillon de votre jolie fable. J'avois 
la pense*e qu'en vous offrant une plus belle edition que votre 
ouvrage meritoit bien je pouvois vous gagner de me permettre 
a retenir Poriginal, ce que je desirois parce que j'aime tant 
ce qui vient de votre main. Et comme mon fils est aussi 
un de vos admirateurs j'ai voulu par le plaisir de le lire lui 
payer le travail de le bien copier. J'ai fait une faute je le 
conf esse, mais comme vous avez eu la bont de le pardonner je 
ne le repeterai pas jusqu'a une autre occasion. 

" Une des personnages de votre fable, viz. la Gout me paroit 
raissonner assez bien a 1'exception de sa supposition que les 
maitresses ont eu quelque part en produisant ce doulour- 
euse maladie. Je crois moi tout le contraire et voici comme 
je raissonne. Quand j'e*tois jeune homme et que je jouissois 
plus des faveurs de la Sexe qu'a present, je n'avois point de 
goutte. Done si les Dames de Passy auroient eu plus de 
cette espece de charite* chretienne que je vous ai si souvent 


en vaine recommande, je n'aurois pas eu la goutte actuelle- 
ment. II me semble que ceci est bonne logique. 

" Je suis beaucoup mieux. J'ai peu de douleur mais je me 
trouve bien faible. Je peux comme vous voyez badiner un 
peu, mais je ne peux pas etre rellement gai avant que j'en- 
tendrai que votre pre'cieuse sant est retablie. 

"Je vous envoie mon Dialogue en espe*rant que cela 
pourroit vous amuser quelques moments. 

" Bien de remerciements pour les tres dernieres tomes de 
Montaigne que je renvoie. 

" La visite de votre toujours aimable famille hier au soir m'a 
faite beaucoup de bien. Mon Dieu ! comme je les aime tous 
de la Grand Mere et le pere jusque le plus petite enfant." 

To this letter Madame Brillon replied: 

Saturday, i8th November, 1780. 

There should be many little things to criticise in your logic, 
which my dear Papa asserts so well. "When I was a young 
man," you say, "and enjoyed the favours of the sex more than 
at present, I had no gout." " Then," one might reply to this, 
" when I threw myself out of the window, I did not break my 
leg." THEN you could have the gout without having deserved 
it, and you could have well deserved it, as I believe, and not 
have had it. 

If this last argument is not as brilliant as the others, it is 
clear and sure ; what are neither clear nor sure are the argu- 
ments of philosophers who insist that everything that happens 
in the world is necessary to the general movement of the 
universal machine. I believe that the machine would go 
neither better nor worse if you had not the gout, and if I 
were forever rid of my nervous troubles. 


I do not see what help, more or less, these little incidents 
can give to the wheels that turn this world at random, and I 
know that my little machine goes worse for them. What I 
know very well besides, is that pain sometimes becomes mis- 
tress of reason, and that patience alone can overcome these two 
plagues. I have as much of it as I can, and I advise you, my 
friend, to have the same. When frosts have blackened the 
earth, a bright sun makes us forget them. We are in the 
midst of frosts, and must wait patiently for the bright sun, and, 
while waiting, amuse ourselves in the moments when weakness 
and pain leave us some rest. This, my dear Papa, is my logic. 

Your dialogue amused me very much, but the corrector 
of your French spoiled your work. Believe me, leave your 
works as they are, use words that say things, and laugh at 
grammarians, who, by their purity, weaken all your sen- 
tences. If I had a good enough head, I would compose a 
terrible diatribe against those who dare to re-touch you, were 
it 1'Abbe* de la Roche, my neighbor Veillard, etc., etc., etc. 
I want to amuse myself by making notes on your work, 
and on theirs, and you will see that you are right. 

Adieu, my good Papa. My big husband will take my 
letter to you ; he is very happy to be able to go to see you. 
For me, nothing remains but the faculty of loving my friends. 
You do not doubt, surely, that I will do my best for you, even 
to Christian charity, that is to say, your Christian charity, 


New Year's Day, 1781. 

If I had a good head and good legs if, in short, I had 
all that I lack, I should have come, like a good daughter, 


to wish a happy New Year to the best of papas. But I 
have only a very tender heart to love him well, and a rather 
bad pen to scribble him that this year, as well as last, and as 
well as all the years of my life, I shall love him, myself alone, 
as much as all the others that love him, put together. 

Brillon and the children present their homage to the kind 
Papa ; and we also say a thousand things to M. Franklinet. 

Franklin attempted to arrange a marriage between his 
nephew, Jonathan Williams, and one of the daughters of John 
Schweighauser, banker at Nantes. His plans failed, and 
Williams married Mariamne Alexander. He also tried to 
obtain one of the daughters of Madame Brillon for his grand- 
son, William Temple Franklin. It was in reply to overtures 
of this kind that the following letter was written. Between 
two and three years later Franklin received a notice of the 
marriage of the daughter whom he had hoped to receive 
into his own family : "Monsieur et Madame Brillon de Jouy 
ont Phonneur de vous faire part du Mariage de Mademoiselle 
Brillon, leur Fille, avec Monsieur Paris." Upon the card, 
which exists among the private papers in The American Philo- 
sophical Society, Franklin wrote, "They were married Mon- 
day, Oct. 20, 1783." 

A rough draft of the letter in which Franklin proposed 
a marriage between his grandson and Madame Brillon's 
daughter is in the Library of Congress. The letter must have 
been written in April, 1781. It is particularly interesting be- 
cause of the light it throws upon Franklin's religious beliefs. 


Souvenez vous, ma chere Amie, que je vous ai demande; 
il y a quelque terns, si M. B. vous a parle* d'une Proposition 

VOL. X 2 B 


que je lui avoit faite ? Vous m'aviez dit, que non. Je pensois 
de ne vous en parler pas, non plus; mais je suis change 
d'avis, & je vas vous dire la chose. C'etoit une Manage 
entre votre chere fille ainee & mon petit fils. Voici 
mes Motifs, J'aime, moi, tout la Famille sans exception. Je 
de'sirois de reserver par ce moyen les tendres Liaisons de notre 
Amide*. Ayant quasi perdue ma Fille par la vaste Distance 
entre nous, j'esperois d'en trouver une en vous & une autre 
en votre Fille, de soigner ma Viellesse si je restois en France, 
& de clorre mes paupieres quand je viens de mourir. J'ai 
tres bonne Opinion de cette aimable Demoiselle; Je Fai 
observee pendant 4 Ans de Connoissance, & assurement je 
crois qu'elle fera une bonne Femme. Je crois aussi que mon 
Fils, qui n'a point des Vices, fera un bon Mari, autrement 
je n'aurois pas desire de le donner a votre Fille. J'ai ob- 
servai qu'ils ont d'Amitie' Fun pour Fautre. J'avois parle" 
a lui de mes vues de le marier ici ; il m'a dit qu'il n'avoit que 
seule Objection, que son Manage en France peut occasioner 
une Separation entre nous, si je retournois en Amerique; 
Mais quand je lui disois que s'il marrioit Mad 1 * Brillon je 
resterai jusque la fin de mes jours en France il en etoit fort 
content, disant que si je peux negocier cette Affaire pour lui, 
il seroit bien heureux. II est encore jeune, & peut-etre le 
Partialite d'un Pere, m'avois fait penser trop avantageuse- 
ment de lui, mais il me semble, qu'il a en lui Fetoffe pour faire 
avec le terns un homme distingue". Voila mes Excuses pour 
avoir fait cette de marche. Peut etre J'aurois mieux fait si 
j'avois premierement pris Conseil de vous, parceque vous 
pouvois m'informer que cette Projet ne conviendroit pas a M. 
Brillon, & je lui aurois epargnd la peine de tourner pour le 


II m'a fait aujourd'hui deux Objections. L'une est la 
Difference de Religion. L'autre que sa Fille pourroit etre 
amenee en Amerique, par mon petit fils. J'avois pense* moi 
auparavant de ces deux choses. Pour la seconde c'e"toit mon 
intention de tacher de Petablir en France, restant ici moi- 
meme pendant ma Vie, & obtenant pour lui de me succeder 
dans mon Emploi publique, que je crois bien possible, avec 
le tems. Pour la premiere, voici mes Ide*es. En chaque 
Religion il y a des choses essentielles, & il y a d'autres qui 
ne sont que des Formes & des Modes ; Comme un pain de 
Sucre qui peut-etre enveloppe* en Papier brun ou blanc ou 
bleu, & lie avec ficelle de chanvre ou de laine, rouge ou jaune ; 
c'est toujours le Sucre qui est la chose essentielle. Or les 
essentielles d'une bonne Religion consistent, il me semble, en 
ces 5 Articles viz: 

i Qu'il y a un Dieu qui a fait-le Monde, & qui le Gouverne 
par sa Providence. 

2 Qu'il doit dtre adore*, & servi 

3. Que le meilleure service de Dieu est de faire le bien aux 

4. Que 1'ame de Phomme est immortelle & 

5. Que dans une Vie future sinon dans la presente, le vice 
sera puni, & la Vertue recompensed. 

Ces Essentielles on trouve dans votre Religion & dans le 
notre, les Differences ne sont que Papier & Ficelle. C'est 
avec ces Pense'es que je m'ai satisfait sur cette Sujet. Mais 
comme les me'mes Raisonnement ne sont bons pour tout le 
Monde, je ne pretend pas que les miens doivent etre bons pour 
vous, . & pour M. Brillon. L'Affaire est done fini, car 
1'Affaire est fini, car peutetre il a d'autres Objections qu'il 
ne m'a pas donne'es, & je ne doit pas 1'importuner. Nous 


vous aimerons tous, neantmoins. Adieu, ma tres chere Amie, 
Aimez mois autant que vous pouvez. Ce n'est pas trop. 

To this letter Madame Brillon replied : 

Friday, aoth April, 1781. 

I am going to answer your letter, my good Papa, with 
frankness and friendliness. It would have been sweet to my 
heart, and most agreeable to M. Brillon, to form an alliance 
which would have made one family of us; we like your son, 
and believe that he has all that is necessary to make a man 
distinguished, and to render a woman happy. But he cannot 
reasonably decide to remain in this country; his property, 
his profession, and his duty bind him to his country. Your 
name to sustain is another tie that obliges him in every case 
to do the things, and live in the places, where he will be useful 
to his fellow-citizens. On our side, we need a son-in-law 
who is in a condition to fill the place of my husband, who 
begins to feel the need of rest. This place is the most im- 
portant object of our fortune ; it calls for a man skilled in the 
knowledge of the laws and customs of our country and of our 
religion. M. Brillon and I think, with you, that there is but 
one religion and one moral law common to all wise men; 
we are, however, obliged to submit to the usages of our coun- 
try; an isolated being, keeping silent and leaving to others 
their prejudices, can do as he wishes. Married people, be- 
longing to a large family, owe it some account of their doings. 
There would be still many other objections to the flattering 
proposal you have made us ; what it has cost us to refuse it, 
should assure you forever of our affection. 

Be at ease, my good Papa : as long as we li ve, you shall 
not be neglected. Without being your children we are your 


friends, and we will give you always all the attention that 
lies in our power. 

I beg you, my kind Papa, to communicate to your son 
all the obstacles in the way of the attachment he would form 
with our child. He must be the friend of all of us ; he will be 
happy and will give us happiness in keeping to this feeling: 
if it becomes warmer, he will make himself unhappy, and give 
us pain ; his integrity and your wisdom reassure us. Good- 
bye, my Papa. Love us and try to forget a plan, the remem- 
brance of which would only cause us regret ; or remind us of it 
only in order to strengthen, if possible, our confidence in the 
esteem and friendship which we have for each other. 

Upon the birth of the first child of this marriage Franklin 
wrote to Madame Brillon : 

Ce 28 Novbre '84. 

Je vous felicite tres cordialement ma tres chere amie de 
1'heureux accouchement de votre fille. Puisse Penfant etre 
aussi bonne et aussi aimable que sa mere, sa grande-mere 
et sa grande-grande-mere, etc. Je me souviens d'avoir un 
jour rencontre* chez vous quatre de vos generations quand vos 
enfants e*toient tres jeunes et que j'ai dit alors que j'espeVois 
vivre a voir la cinquieme. Voici mon souhait prophetique 
accompli. Je fais des vceus actuellement pour la prosp^rite* 
continuelle de toute la bonne famille. Avez-vous des nou- 
velles de notre bon Evque ? Oil est-il ? Comment se porte- 
t-il? Je vous embrasse fortement. 

B. F. 

To this letter Madame Brillon replied : 


2nd December, 1784. 

Your letter, my kind Papa, has given me great pleasure ; 
but if you would give me a greater, remain in France until 
you see my sixth generation. I only ask you for fifteen or 
sixteen years : my granddaughter will be marriageable early ; 
she is fine and strong. I am tasting a new feeling, my good 
Papa, to which my heart gives itself with satisfaction, it is so 
sweet to love. I have never been able to conceive how beings 
exist who are such enemies to themselves as to reject friend- 
ship. They are ingrates, one says ; well one is deceived ; it 
is a little hard sometimes, but one is not so always ; and to feel 
oneself incapable of returning it gives a contentment that con- 
soles one for the treachery. 

My little nurse is charming and fresh as a morning rose. 
The first days the child had difficulty, . . . but patience and 
the mother's courage overcame it; all goes well now, and 
nothing could be more interesting than this picture of a young 
and pretty person nursing a superb child, the father unceas- 
ingly occupied with the spectacle, and joining his attentions 
to those of his wife. My eyes often are wet, and my heart 
rejoices, my kind Papa. You realize so well the price of all 
that belongs to good and beautiful nature that I owe you these 
details. My daughter charges me with her thanks and com- 
pliments to you; my youngest and my men present their 
respects, and I, my friend, I beg you to believe that my friend- 
ship and my existence will always be one for you. 

The following letter from Franklin is without date. It 
elicited from her a witty and triumphant reply. 

"Pour vous faire mieux comprendre la Force de ma Dem- 
onstration que vous ne m'aimez pas, je commence par un 
petit Conte. 


"Un Mendiant demandoit d'un rich Eveque un Louis en 
Aumones. Tu es un Extravagant On ne donne pas des 
Louis aux Mendiants. Un Ecu done. Non. C'est trop. 
Un Liard done, ou votre Benediction. Mon Benediction ! 
Oui, je te le donnerai. Non je ne Paccepterai pas. Car s'il 
vaut en Liard, vous ne le voulez pas me dormer. Voila 
comme cette Eveque aimoit son Voisin. Voila sa Charite* ! 
Et si j'examine la votre je ne la trouverai pas beaucoup plus 
grande. J'ai en un faim incroyable & vous ne m'aviez pas 
donne manger, j'etois Etranger, & j'etois presque aussi 
malade que Colin de votre Chanson, & vous ne m'aviez pas ni 
recu ni gueri, ni meme soulage*. 

"Vous qui 6t6s riche comme un Archeveque en toutes les 
Vertus chretiennes et morales & qui pourrez m'en sacrifier 
une petite portion de quelques unes sans que la perte soit 
visible. Vous me dites que cela est trop, & vous ne voulez 
pas le faire. Voila votre Charite", a un pauvre Miserable, 
qui autrefois jouoit de PAffluence et qui est malheuresement 
reduit a demander de vos Aumones. Vous dites neantmoins, 
que vous 1'amiez. Mais vous ne lui donneriez pas votre 
Amitie s'il faut pour ce la" faire la de pense de la moindre 
petite Morceau de la Valeur d'un Liard, de votre Sagesse." 

Madame Brillon replied : - 

ist July Passy. 

MY DEAR PAPA: Your bishop was a niggard and your 
beggar a rascally fellow. You are a very skilful sophist, 
as you almost convince one with your clever arguments 
founded on a false principle. Is it to Dr. Franklin, the 
celebrated philosopher, the profound statesman, that a 
woman speaks thus irreverently ? Yes, this erudite man, this 


legislator, has his weakness (it is the weakness, moreover, of 
great men : he has taken full advantage of it). But let us go 
into the matter. 

To prove that I do not love you, my good Papa, you com- 
pare yourself to a beggar who asked alms from a bishop. 
Now, the r61e of a bishop is not to refuse to give to beggars 
when they are really in want ; he honours himself in doing 
good. But in truth the kind of charity which you ask of me 
so humorously can be found everywhere. You will not 
suffer by my refusals ! What would you think of your beggar, 
if, the bishop having given him the "louis" which he asked, he 
had complained because he did not get two ? That, however, 
is your case, my good friend. 

You adopted me as your daughter, I chose you for my 
father: what do you expect from me? Friendship! well, 
I love you as a daughter should love her father. The purest, 
most tender and respectful affection for you fills my soul; 
you asked me for a " louis " ; I gave it to you, and yet you mur- 
mur at not getting another one, which does not belong to me. 
It is a treasure which has been entrusted to me, my good 
Papa; I guard it and will always guard it carefully. Even 
if you were like "Colin sick," in truth I could not cure you; 
and nevertheless, whatever you may think or say, no one in this 
world loves you more than I. 


2Oth October, Marseilles. 

I received on my arrival here, my good Papa, your letter 
of October ist. It gave me much pleasure ; I found in it evi- 
dences of your friendship and a touch of that gayety and 
gallantry which makes all women love you, because you love 


them all. Your proposition to carry me on your wings, if 
you were the angel Gabriel, made me laugh ; but I would not 
accept it, although I am no longer very young nor a virgin. 
That angel was a sly fellow and your nature united to his 
would become too dangerous. I would be afraid of miracles 
happening, and miracles between women and angels might 
not always bring a redeemer. . . . 

I have arranged, my good friend, to write alternately to 
my "great neighbour" and to you ; the one to whom I shall not 
have written will kindly tell the other that I love him with all 
my heart, and when it comes your turn you will add an em- 
brace for the good wife of our neighbor, for her daughter, for 
little Mother Caillot, for all the gentle and pretty women of 
my acquaintance whom you may meet. You see that not 
being able to amuse you, either by my carols or by chess, I 
seek to procure you other pleasures. If you had been at 
Avignon with us, it is there you would have wished to embrace 
people. The women are charming there; I thought of you 
every time I saw one of them. Adieu, my good Papa; I 
shall not relate to you the events of my journey, as I have 
written of them to our neighbor, who will communicate them 
to you. I confine myself to assuring you of my most constant 
and tender friendship. . . . 


1 3th October, the Thuillerie. 

How are you, my good Papa? Never has it cost me so 
much to leave you; every evening it seems to me that you 
would be very glad to see me, and every evening I think of you. 
On Monday, the 2ist, I shall go to get you ; I hope that you 
will then be well on your feet, and that the teas of Wednesday 


and Saturday, and that of Sunday morning, will regain all 
their brilliance. I will bring you la bonne eveque. My fat 
husband will make us laugh, our children will laugh to- 
gether, our big neighbour will quiz, the Abbes La Roche and 
Morellet will eat all the butter, Mme. Grand, her amiable 
niece, and M. Grand will not harm the society, Pere Pagin 
will play "God of Love" on his violin, I the march on the 
piano, and you "Petits Oiseaux" on the harmonica. 

O ! my friend, let us see in the future fine and strong 
legs for you, and think no more of the bad one that has so 
persecuted you. After the bad, one enjoys the good more; 
life is sown with one and the other, which she changes un- 
ceasingly. What she cannot keep from being equal and 
unchangeable is my tenderness for you, that time, place, and 
events will never change. 

My mother and all my family beg to be remembered to 

I had news of you from our neighbour, but I must abso- 
lutely have some from you. 


Je me rendrai chez vous ma chere fille demain matin 
avec grand plaisir et si vous ne pourrez pas descendre sans 
difficult^ peute'tre je serai assez fort pour monter votre esca- 
lier. Le de*sir de vous voir me donnera quelque force de plus. 
Mon fils m'aidera volontiers; car il ne s'oppose jamais a 
mes propositions d'aller avec moi chez Madame Brillon. 

Les visites de votre bon mari pendant ma maladie m'a 
e*t6 tres agrdable. Sa conversation m'a soulage" et egaye. 
Je regrette qu'au lieu de la chercher quand j'ai 6t chez vous 
j'ai perdu tant de terns a jouer aux echecs. II a beaucoup 


des contes et toujours bien appliquees. S'il vous a derobe 
quelques uns vous pouvez les repeter nanmoins, car ils me 
plairont toujours de votre bouche. 

M. Pagin m'a fait Phonneur de me visiter hier. C'est 
assurdment un des meilleurs homines possibles, car il a eu la 
patience de m'entendre jouer une air sur Pharmonica et de 
Pentendre jusqu'a la fin. 


ist November, The Thuillerie. 

Here I am reduced to writing to you, my good papa, and 
to saying that I love you. It was sweeter no doubt to let you 
see it in my eyes. How am I going to spend the Wednesdays 
and Saturdays? No teas, no chess, no music, no hope of 
seeing or embracing my good papa ! It seems to me that the 
privation which I experience from your absence would 
suffice to make me change my views, were I inclined to 

Happiness is so uncertain, so many obstacles are encoun- 
tered in its pursuit, that the conviction that we shall be happier 
in another life can alone help us to bear the trials of this one. 
In paradise we shall be reunited, never to leave each other 
again ! We shall there live on roasted apples only ; the music 
will be composed of Scotch airs ; all parties will be given over 
to chess, so that no one may be disappointed ; every one will 
speak the same language; the English will be neither unjust 
nor wicked there ; the women will not be coquettes, the men 
will be neither jealous nor too gallant ; " King John" will be 
left to eat his apples in peace; perhaps he will be decent 
enough to offer some to his neighbours who knows? since 
we shall want for nothing hi paradise ! We shall never suffer 


from gout there nor from our nerves ; Mr. Mesmer will con- 
tent himself with playing on the harmonica, without bothering 
us about electric fluids ; ambition, envy, pretensions, jealousy, 
prejudices, all these will vanish at the sound of the trumpet. 
A lasting, sweet, and peaceful friendship will animate every 
society. Every day we shall love one another, in order that 
we may love one another still more the day after; in a word, 
we shall be completely happy. In the meantime let us get 
all the good we can out of this poor world of ours. I am far 
from you, my good Papa ; I look forward to the time of our 
meeting, and I am pleased to think that your regrets and 
desires equal mine. 

My mother and my children send you their loving remem- 
brance; we should all like to have you here. May I ask 
you to remember me to your grandson? 

Franklin was never fluent or correct in writing or speaking 
French. Every one knows that when he attended the theatre 
with Madame de Boufflers he followed her example and 
applauded when she showed approval, and learned to his 
chagrin that he had applauded most loudly eulogistic refer- 
ences to himself. The other representatives of the United 
States were even less familiar with the language. None of 
them could converse in French. Jefferson declared that he 
was never sure he understood what was said to him ; and when 
Silas Deane protested that he never spoke with English people 
in Paris, Beaumarchais remarked sarcastically, "He must 
then be the most silent man in France, for I defy him to say 
six words to a Frenchman." 

Franklin never dared to write an official or business letter 
in French, but delegated that task to his secretary or to his 


grandson. Even to his friend Chaumont he wrote in English, 
saying that it took too much time to write in French and 
was after all very bad French. "The best master of lan- 
guage," he said, "is a mistress," and he essayed to write in 
sprightly though stumbling French his gallant letters to fair 
and witty women. Madame Brillon corrected his exercises 
and his letters and some of these amended epistles are still 
in existence. The letter in reply to the above from Madame 
Brillon is in Franklin's handwriting, the italicized passages are 
Madame Brillon's corrections. 

" Depuis que vous m'aves assure* que nous nous rencontrons 
rencontrerons et que nous nous reconnoitrons en paradis, j'ai 
pense* continuellement sur Parrangement de nos Affaires dans 
ce pays la ; car j'ai grand grande confiance en vos assurances, 
et je crois implicitement ce que vous croye's : 

" Vraisemblablement plus que de 40 anne'es couleroient 
couleront apre*s mon arrivee la, avant que vous me suiveres 
suivies: je crains, un peu, que dans la course d'une d'un 
si longue long temps, vous pouve*s ne puissies m'cublier, 
c'est pourqu'oi j'ai eu la pense'es de vous proposer de me 
donner votre parole d'honneur, de ne pas renouveller la" 
votre contrat avec M r B. je vous donnent au donnerai en 
mesme temps le mien la mienne de vous attend re mais ce 
monsieur est si bon, si genereux envers nous il vous aime 
et nous lui si bien que je ne puis [pas] penser [de] 
a cette proposition, sans quelque [s] [scrupules de] scrupule[s] 
de conscience cependant Pidee d'une Eternite' dans laquelle 
je ne serai pas plus favorise que d'estre permis d'avoir per- 
mission de baiser vos mains, ou vos joues quelquefois, et que 
de passdr deux ou trois heures dans votre douce socie'te les 
soirees des mercredis et samedis, c'est effroyable : enfin je ne 


puis pas faire cette proposition, mais comme (avec tous ceux 
qui vous connoissent) je souhaitte de vous voir heureuse en 
toutes choses, nous pouvons agreer de n'en plus parlor a 
present et de la laisser a vous, vous laisser la liberte (Ten 
decider, quand nous [tous] nous rencontrerons tous: 1 d'en 
determiner comme vous jugeres le meilleur pour [la] vostre 
felicite* et pour les ndtres, determines comme vous voudres, 
je sens que je vous aimera aimer ai eternellement si vous 
me rejetteres rejettes, peut estre je m'addresserai m'addres- 
seraije a m de D'hardancourt, et qui il a qui il plaira [peut estre 
a elle] de faire menage avec moi ; alors je passerai mes heures 
domestiques agr&iblement avec elle ; et je serai plus a porte'e 
de vous voir, j'aurai asses de terns dans ces 40 annees la, de 
pratiquer sur L'Armonica, et peut estre je jouerai ass6s bien 
pour estre digne d'accompagner votre forte" piano, nous aurons 
de terns en terns de petits concerts : le bon pdre pagin sera de 
la partie, votre voisin et sa chere famille [m r jupin] m r de 
chaumont, m r B, m r jourdon, m r grammont, m de du tartre, la 
petite me*re, et d'autres amis choisis seroient seront notre 
auditoire, et les chores bonnes fiiles accompagne'es par quel- 
ques autres jeunes anges de qui vous m'ave's deja donne" les 
portraits, chanteroient chanteront avc nous le alleluia, nous 
mangerons ensemble des pommes de paradis roties ave"c 
du beure et de la muscade ; et nous aurons pitid de ceux qui 
ne sont seront pas morts. " 


More than 40 years Plus de (not que) 40 anne'es. 
To think of a thing Penser a (not de) une chose. 
To be permitted D 'avoir Permission (not d'etre 


Perhaps I shall address myself Peute'tre m'addresserai-je 
(not je m'addresserai). 

Rough drafts of the following letters from Franklin are 
in The American Philosophical Society. 


Etant revenu chez moi, j'e"tois surpris de trouver qu'il 
e"toit presque onze heures. Je crains qu'oubliant toutes autres 
choses par notre trop d 'attention au Jeu d'Echecs, nous vous 
avions beaucoup incommode, en vous detenant si long temps 
dans le Bain. Dites moi, ma chere Amie, comment vous 
vous trouvez ce matin. Jamais je ne consentirai de com- 
mencer une Partie ci-apre's dans votre Chambre a baigner. 
Pouvez vous me pardonner cette Indiscretion? 

Je vous envoye le Homere de M. Bitaube". Get aimable 
Homme a beaucoup d'envie d'etre connu de Mad e Brillon. 
Est il permis de 1'amener avec moi le Mercredi prochain? 
Si cela n'est pas convenable pour vous, je 1'eviterai 

Samedy onze heures de soir. 


J'ai 6t6 bien moitine" hier au soir de n'avoir pas pu me 
rendre chez ma chere Amie. J'avois une VISITATION qui a 
duree jusqu a onze heures. 

Bien des Remerciements pour votre soin obligeante en me 
procurant ces livres. Je les retournera bient6t en bon ordre. 
Je suis bien oblige" aussi a M. de Bospin. 

C'est vrai que j'ai souvent dit que je vous aime trop, 
et j'ai dit la verite". Jugez vous apres une Comparaison que 
je va faire, qui de nous deux aime le plus. Si je demande d'un 


Ami, j'ai besoin de vos Chevaux pour faire une Voyage 
pretez les a moi ; & si il repond je serais bien aise de vous 
obliger, mais je crams qu'ils seront gatees par cette Voyage, 
& je ne peux pas me resoudre de les preter a personne ; ne 
dois-je pas conclusse que cet homme aime ses chevaux plus 
qu'il ne m'aime ? Et si dans le meme Cas je voudroit volon- 
tairement hazarder mes chevaux en les pretant a lui, n'est 
il pas clair que je Paime plus que je ne 'aime mes chevaux, 
& aussi plus qu'il m'aime? Vous scavez que je suis pret a 
sacrifier mes beaux & grands chevaux. 


Qu'elle difference, ma chere amie entre vous et moi: 
vous me trouvez des fautes innombrables, tandis que je 
m'en vois qu'une en vous (mais, c'est peut e^re la faute de mes 
lunettes), j'entends cette espece d'avarice qui vous porte 
a monopoler sur touttes mes affections; et de ne m'en per- 
mettre aucunes, pour les aimables d'ames de votre pays. 
Vous vous imaginer qu'il n'est pas possible que mon Affection 
(ou ma tendresse). Soit diviser, sans 6tre diminuer. Vous 
vous trompez ; et vous oubliez la f aeon badine avec laquelle 
vous m'avez amette : vous renoncer, et donnez une exclusion 
totale a tout ce que notre amour pouvoit avoir de charnel en 
ne me permettant que quelques Baisers, civil et honnete, tels 
que vous en pourriez donner a quelques petits cousins : que 
m'en revient il done tout, pour que je ne puisse pas en donner 
autant aux autres sans une diminution de ce qui vous appar- 
tient? Les Opperations de PEsprit, PEstime, PAdmiration, 
le Respect, et PAffection meme ! (pour un objet) peuvent se 
multiplier autant que les objets qui le meritent se presentent ; 
et cependant avoir la meme fa con depenser pour le p r Objet 


qui n'a par consequent mil lieu de se plaindre d'une injure. 
Elles sont dans leur nature aussi divisibles que les sons doux 
du forte piano produits par vos mains habiles, vingt personnes 
a la fois peuvent en recevoir le meme plaisir, sans diminuer 
celui qu' obligeament, vous me destinez et je pourrois (tout 
aussi peu raisonnablement) exiger de votre amitie', que ces 
doux sons ne puisse atteindre ni charmer d'autres oreilles 
que les miennes. 

Vous voyez done, d'apres cela combien vous tes injuste 
dans vos demandes, et dans la guerre ouverte que vous me 
declarer, si je n'y souscris pas; en effet, c'est moi qui ai le 
plus Sujet de me plaindre! mon pauvre petit amour, que 
vous auriez du ce me semble cherir, au lieu d'etre gras et joly 
(comme ceux de vos elegantes peintures) est maigre et pret a 
mourier de faim ! faute d'une nouriture substantielle, que sa 
mere inhumainement lui refuse ! et encore maintenant veut 
elle lui rogner ses petittes ailes afin qu'il n'en puisse pas 
aller chercher ailleurs ! je m'imagine qu'aucuns de nous 
ne doit gagner aucunes choses dans cette guerre; et par 
consequent comme me sentant le plus foible, je ferai (ce 
qui en effet doit e'tre fait par le plus sage) des propositions 
de paix. 

Pour qu'une paix puisse etre durable il faut que les articles 
du traite soient regies d'apres les principes de la plus parfaitte 
equite et egalite' : dans cette vue j'ai dresse les articles suivants 

ARTICLE i. qu'il doit y avoir, paix, amitie, amour 
etemel entre M de B. et Mr. Franklin. 

ARTICLE 2. en ordre de maintenir cette paix inviolable 
M d B. de son c6te Stipule et couvient que Mr. F. viendra chez 
elle touttes les fois qu'elle Ten priera. 

VOL. X 2 F 


ARTICLE 3. qu'il restera chez elle autant et aussi long- 
terns qu'il lui plaira. 

ARTICLE 4. qui lorsqu'il sera chez elle, il sera oblige" 
de prendre le the", jouer aux echeks, entendre de la Musique 
ou faire tout ce qu'elle pourroit puy demander. 1 

ARTICLE 5. et qu'il n'aimera nul autre femme qu'elle. 

ARTICLE 6. et le dit Mr. F. de son cote" stipule et couvient 
qu'il ira chez Mde B. autant qu'il lui plaira. 

ARTICLE 7. qu'il y demeura aussi longtems qu'il lui 

ARTICLE 8. que lors qu'il sera avec elle il fera tout ce 
qui lui plaira. 

ARTICLE 9. Et qu'il n'aimera aucunes autres femme 
tant qu'il la pouvera aimable. 2 

je vous en prie dites moi ce que vous pensez de ces pre- 
liminaires? Us me semblent exprimer la vraye facon de 
penser et la veritable intention de chaque partie plus claire- 
ment que dans beaucoup de trace's. 

J'appuirai fortement d abord sur le 8 eme Article quoique 
sans beaucoup d'espoir de votre consentement pour 1'execu- 
tion; et sur le 9""" aussi quoique je desespere de jamais 
trouver aucune autre femme que je puisse aimer avec une 
egale tendresse etant pour toujours ma chere chere Amie." 


Vendredi matin 

Ce n'est que hier au soir que votre Billet est venu a 
main. Voici la veritable Cause de ma Retraite. J'avois 
6t6 de bout ces Matin la a quatre heures ; je n'avois pas fait 

1 Bien entendu ce qu'il pourra faire. 

2 les femmes peuvent aller se noyer. 


mon postscriptum ; j'avois travaill beaucoup; J'avois din 
a Paris; & J'etois tres fatigue", & fort dispose" a dormir 
apres votre descente dans le jardin, & je commencois a le 
faire sur le bane pendant qu'on parloit a moi. Ainsi je le 
trouvois plus decent de me retirer & je m'etois couche* devant 
huit heures. II faut done pardonner le grand VOISIN & tous 
les autres objets de votre Courraux, & avouer que vous 
aviez tort ma chere amie, je vous mettre en colere, de jure"r 
centre tous le monde pour ce qui je m'ai ote" une demie-heure 
plut6t qu'a mon ordinaire. Une demie-heure avec un Veillard 
que ne peut pas en faire la meilleur Usage, est une tres petite 
Chose, & on ne dois pas se mettre en colere pour des petites 
choses. Samedi au Soir je restirai chez vous jusques vous 
souhaiterez ma depart, & ma^re" votre politesse usuelle 
de mots, je sjaurai le terns par votre refus dun petit 


J'envoye* incluse les petites Pieces que ma tres chere 
Amie, m'a fait 1'honneur de me demander. Celle sur le 
Jeu des Echecs dois lui etre dedice* le plus beau conseil 
qu'elle contient, etant copie d'apres sa maniere genereuse & 
magnanime de jouer que j'ai si sou vent eprouvee. 

Mon petit fils a 6t6 voir 1'Hptel que vous avez bien voulu 
me proposer. Mais il le trouve trop magnifique pour de 
simples Republicains. 

Agreez je vous prie mes sinceres Remerciements pour 
votre Offre obligeante. Je suis desole" qu'il ne puisse me 
convenir puisque cela m'auvoit approach^ de vous, tres 
excellente Femme, que j'aime, estime, & respecte de fond de 
mon cceur. 


Je trouve comme vous, que dans cette Vie il y a beaucoup 
de Peines. Mais il me semble aussi qu'il y a beaucoup 
plus des Plaisirs. C'est pourquoi j'aime a Vivre. II ne 
faut pas blamer la Providence inconsiderement. Reflechissez 
combien de nos Devoirs me*me elle a ordonne'es d'etre na- 
turellement des Plaisirs ; & qu'elle a eu la Bonte* de plus, de 
donner le Nom de Peches a plusieurs afin que nous en jouis- 
sions avec plus de Gout. 


25th of December at Nice. 

The atonement is adequate, my dear Papa. I shall no 
longer call you Monseigneur nor even Monsieur. My peti- 
tion succeeded before reaching you; our tears are dried. 
You love us, you tell us so ; you are in good health, and are 
as roguish as ever, since you are planning to steal me from 
Brillon, and to take me on a trip to America without letting 
any one know it. Everything is as usual. I recognize your 
fine mask, and I am very glad. But, my good Papa, why 
say that you write French badly, that your pleasantries in 
that language are only nonsense? To make an academic 
discourse, one must be a good grammarian; but to write to 
our friends all we need is a heart, and you combine with the 
best heart, when you wish, the soundest moral teaching, a 
lively imagination, and that droll roguishness which shows 
that the wisest of men allows his wisdom to be perpetually 
broken against the rocks of femininity. Write me therefore, 
write me often and much, or through spite I shall learn 
English. I should want to know it quickly, and that would 


hurt me as I have been forbidden all study, and you would 
be the cause of my ills, for having refused me a few lines of 
your bad French, which my family and I and we are not 
simpletons consider very good; ask my neighbors, ask 
Mr. d'Estaing, Mme. Helve*tius and her abbe's, if it would 
be right on your part to prejudice the improvement which 
the sun here has caused in my health, for the sake of a little 
pride which is beneath My Lord the Ambassador, Benjamin 


Passy March 10. 

I am charm'd with the goodness of my spiritual guide, and 
resign myself implicitly to her Conduct, as she promises to 
lead me to heaven in so delicious a Road when I could be 
content to travel thither even in the roughest of all ways with 
the pleasure of her Company. 

How kindly partial to her Penitent in finding him, on 
examining his conscience, guilty of only one capital sin and 
to call that by the gentle name of Foible ! 

I lay fast hold of your promise to absolve me of all Sins 
past, present, & future, on the easy & pleasing Condition 
of loving God, America and my guide above all things. I 
am in Rapture when I think of being absolv'd of the future. 

People commonly speak of Ten Commandments. I 
have been taught that there are twelve. The first was in- 
crease & multiply & replenish the earth. The twelfth is, 
A new Commandment I give unto you, that you love one 
another. It seems to me that they are a little misplaced, And 
that the last should have been the first. However I never 
made any difficulty about that, but was always willing to 


obey them both whenever I had an opportunity. Pray tell 
me my dear Casuist, whether my keeping religiously these two 
commandments tho' not in the Decalogue, may not be ac- 
cepted in Compensation for my breaking so often one of the 
ten I mean that which forbids Coveting my neighbour's wife, 
and which I confess I break constantly God forgive me, as 
often as I see or think of my lovely Confessor, and I am 
afraid I should never be able to repent of the Sin even if I 
had the full Possession of her. 

And now I am Consulting you upon a Case of Conscience 
I will mention the Opinion of a certain Father of the church 
which I find myself willing to adopt though I am not sure 
it is orthodox. It is this, that the most effectual way to get 
rid of a certain Temptation is, as often as it returns, to 
comply with and satisfy it. 

Pray instruct me how far I may venture to practice upon 
this Principle? 

But why should I be so scrupulous when you have prom- 
ised to absolve me of the future? 

Adieu my charming Conductress and believe me ever 
with the sincerest Esteem & affection. 

Your most obed't hum. Serv. 

[B. F.] 

Many delightful days Franklin spent at Auteuil in the 
hospitable home of Madame Helve*tius, enjoying the music 
rendered by the two daughters (the Stars) of the hostess, and 
the conversation of the younger Cabanis, and the two abbe's, 
Morellet and De la Roche. It was Madame Helve'tius who 
complained that Franklin had not been to see her for a long 
time, and received the explanatory and apologetic answer, 


"I am waiting, Madame, until the nights are longer." 
Madame Brillon called her "my amiable rival," and bade 
Franklin kiss her for himself and for her. After he had 
returned to America, Madame Helve"tius exclaimed to her: 
"Ah, that great man, that dear man, we shall see him no 
more." To which Madame Brillon retorted, "It is entirely 
your fault, Madame." 

She had been beautiful when young, but when Franklin 
became acquainted with her at the age of sixty, she was 
popularly compared with the ruins of Palmyra. Mrs. John 
Adams met her, and the Puritan was astonished and dis- 
gusted at the behaviour of the French lady of the salon. 
This is her faithful and amusing description of the scene: 

"She entered the room with a careless jaunty air; upon 
seeing ladies who were strangers to her, she bawled out, 
'Ah, mon Dieu, where is Franklin? Why did you not tell 
me there were ladies here?' You must suppose her speak- 
ing all this in French. 'How I look !' said she, taking hold 
of a chemise made of tiffany, which she had on over a blue 
lute-string, and which looked as much upon the decay as 
her beauty, for she was once a handsome woman ; her hair 
was frizzled ; over it she had a small straw hat, with a dirty 
gauze half-handkerchief round it, and a bit of dirtier gauze 
than ever my maids wore was bowed on behind. She had a 
black gauze scarf thrown over her shoulders. She ran out of 
the room; when she returned, the Doctor entered at one 
door, she at the other; upon which she ran forward to him, 
caught him by the hand, 'Helas! Franklin!'; then gave 
him a double kiss, one upon each cheek, and another upon 
his forehead. When we went into the room to dine, she was 
placed between the Doctor and Mr. Adams. She carried 


on the chief of the conversation at dinner, frequently locking 
her hands into the Doctor's, and sometimes spreading her 
arms upon the backs of both the gentlemen's chairs, then 
throwing her arm carelessly upon the Doctor's neck. 

"I should have been greatly astonished at this conduct, if 
the good Doctor had not told me that in this lady I should 
see a genuine Frenchwoman, wholly free from affectation or 
stiffness of behaviour, and one of the best women in the 
world. For this I must take the Doctor's word ; but I should 
have set her down for a very bad one, although sixty years 
of age, and a widow. I own I was highly disgusted, and 
never wish for an acquaintance with any kdies of this cast. 
After dinner she threw herself upon a settee where she 
showed more than her feet. She had a little lap-dog, who 
was, next to the Doctor, her favourite. This she kissed, and 
when he wet the floor, she wiped it up with her chemise. 
This is one of the Doctor's most intimate friends, with 
whom he dines once every week, and she with him. She is 
rich, and is my near neighbour; but I have not yet visited 
her. Thus you see, my dear, that manners differ exceedingly 
in different countries. 

" I hope, however, to find amongst the French ladies man- 
ners more consistent with my ideas of decency, or I shall be 
a mere recluse." 

No contraries could hold more antipathy than a New 
England Puritan and such a product of sceptical and un- 
conventional eighteenth-century France. That she was well 
liked by men and popular in social assemblies in Paris we 
have more than the testimony of Franklin who told her that 
"statesmen, philosophers, historians, poets, and men of 
learning of all sorts are drawn round you, and seem as 


willing to attach themselves to you as straws about a fine 
piece of amber." Upon her convalescence from a long 
illness, four hundred persons gathered at Auteuil, and a 
company of actors from Paris gave a performance of " Phi- 

All of the known letters addressed by Franklin to her are 
contained in this edition, save a few unimportant and undated 
notes. One is in response to a reminder from Madame Hel- 
ve'tius that she expected to meet him at a social entertainment 
given by the Turgots. He wrote: "Mr. Franklin never for- 
gets any party at which Madame Helve'tius is expected. He 
even believes that if he were engaged to go to Paradise this 
morning, he would pray for permission to remain on earth 
until half -past one, to receive the embrace promised him at 
the Turgots'." In the Bibliotheque National is a little note 
containing a mathematical paradox, and inviting Madame 
Helve'tius to breakfast : 

"Tres chere Amie, nous aurons de bonne Musique demain 
matin a dejeuner ; pouvez vous me f aire le Plaisir de la par- 
ticiper? H sera a dix heures et demi. Voici une Probleme 
qu'un Mathematicien aura de la peine a expliquer ; en parta- 
geant d'autres choses, chacun de nous n'a qu'une part: 
mais en partageant les Plaisirs avec vous, ma Portion est 
doubles. Le Part est plus, que le Tout" 


In another letter he speculates upon her success in attract- 
ing friends : 

"... And now I mention your friends, let me tell you, that 
I have in my way been trying to form some hypothesis to 
account for your having so many, and of such various kinds. 


I see that statesmen, philosophers, historians, poets, and men 
of learning of all sorts are drawn around you, and seem as 
willing to attach themselves to you as straws about a fine 
piece of amber. It is not that you make pretentions to any 
of their sciences; and if you did, similarity of studies does 
not always make people love one another. It is not that 
you take pains to engage them ; artless simplicity is a striking 
part of your character. I would not attempt to explain it by 
the story of the ancient, who, being asked why philosophers 
sought the acquaintance of kings, and kings not that of 
philosophers, replied that philosophers knew what they 
wanted, which was not always the case with kings. Yet 
thus far the comparison may go, that we find in your sweet 
society that charming benevolence, that amiable attention to 
oblige, that disposition to please and be pleased, which we do 
not always find in the society of one another. It springs 
from you ; it has its influence on us all, and in your company 
we are not only pleased with you, but better pleased with one 
another and with ourselves." 


July, 1787 

quelle bonheur, vous avez re"pendu, mon cher franklin, 
dans notre petite retraitre nous nous somme toutes assemble* 
pour lire et relire vos charmente lettre que vous avez 
de ma vie interieures, de jours que vous avez passe avec nous, 
du bien que vous avez rependue dans nous aine ; je ne vous 
quittoist jaimais fort en valoir mieux le lendemin e*crive moi 
souvent mon cher ami, vos lettres produises presque le meme 
effait sur moi par ce quelle me rappelle plus fortement toutes 
vos vertues, et ces beaux caracteres, noble, et simple que 


j 'admire tant en vous : nous ne nous revoir done plus dans 
ce monde, h'o mon cher ami, que ce soit done dans lautre; 
les detail de votre vie interieur menchante, j'aime cette 
charmente Md. biche que ne vie que pour vous, et qui 
c'est pour vous donne'e plus 1'object que puisse con- 
tribute a votre bonheur ces sir enfent font surement, bon, 
et emable, comme benjamin le vrai bonheur et bien dans la 
fammille, et dans ses amies quand les circonstance ? 

comme a moi je voye souvent mes petite etoilles et mes 
toutes petites Etoilles ; mais je ne vie pas tout les jours avec 
(elles et el faut vive tous les jours avec ce que Ion aime), j'ai 
done toujours mes trois amies qui ne me quittent pas du 
tout et aux quelle je Suis absolument necessaire comme il 
me les sont, ma sante n'est plus aussi bonne que vous je 
devient vielle mon cher bonne ami, et je nent consolle par 
ce que me raprocher davantage de vous, nous nous raison 
philosophiquement et plus tot nous retrouverons avec tout 
ce que nous avons aime", moy en mary, et vous une* femme 
mais je croye vous qui avez 6t6 un quoquain que vous en 
retroveraye plus d'une, mon cher franklin je vous, envoye 
pour Md biche ce qui e"toist marque dans la petite notte qui 
je croie d'elle, et j'ajoute une petite redingotte faite pour 
moi. qui lui servira de modelle si elle trouve" cette abille- 
ment comode. Comme . j'en ait fait faire deux je lui en en- 
voye une 1'etoffe n'est pas belle, mai c'est un des modele qui 
peut me plaire. 

dite a benjamin que je me recommande toujours a lui 
pour les cardinal quand il viendera en france on un de ces 
ami il me les aportera. je ne suis pas presse* dutout ; 'atten- 
deraye, car je ne veux point ces jolie creature morte, j'atten- 
deraye. adieu mon cher bon ame, je vous embrace de toutes 


me forces, de toutes mon ame mille baise" aussi a vos deux 
petites efents, que je connais, je croix que vous ne puisse 
pas lire mon grifanage, mes amis que vous derive vont encore 
vous parlez de moi et d'une maniere plus comode pour vous.. 
Adieu, mon cher et bonne ami. 


Franklin bequeathed to George Washington a fine crab- 
tree walking-stick, with a gold head curiously wrought in th& 
form of the cap of liberty. It was a present to him from Mad- 
ame de Forbach, the Dowager Duchess of Deux-Ponts. 
Accompanying the present were the following verses: 


En lui presentant, de la part de Madame la Comtesse Douairiere de Deux 
Fonts, un baton d'epine surmonte d'une pomme d'or, figurant le chapeau 
de la liberte 

Dans les plaines de Marathon, 

Ou 1'insolence Musulmane 

A d'eternels affronts condamne 

La posterite de Solon; 

Parmi la ronce et les epines 

Qui couvrent ces bords malheureux, 

Et cachent les cendres divines 

Des sages, des heros fameux, 

La Liberte, votre deesse, 

Avant d'abandonner la Grece, 

Arracha ce baton noueux : 

On le vit aux Alpes Pennines, 

Pour terrasser 1'Autrichien, 

Briller entre les javelines 

Du valeureux Helvetien ; 

Elle en fit depuis une lance, 

Lorsque dans les champs de Trenton 

Elle dirigeoit la vaillance 

Et 1'audace de Washington. 

Ce symbole de la victoire 


Qu'orne aujourd'hui le chapeau du grand Tell, 

Ce ferme appui que votre gloire 

Rendra desormais immortel, 

Assurera vos pas au Temple de Memoire. 1 

De rimprimerit de Didot VAlne 1783. 

Madame Forbach also presented him with a pair of scissors, 
in acknowledgment of which he wrote to her: 

I received my dear Friend's kind Present of the Scissars, 
which are exactly what I wanted, & besides their usefulness 
to me have a great additional Value by the Hand from 
which they came. It is true that I can now neither walk 
abroad nor write at home without having something that may 
remind me of your Goodness towards me; you might have 
added, that I can neither play at Chess nor drink Tea with- 
out the same Sensation: but these had slipt your Memory. 
There are People who forget the Benefits they receive, Mad* 
de Forbach only those she bestows. But the Impression 
you have made on my Mind as one of the best, wisest & most 
amiable Women I ever met with, renders every other means 
to make me think of you unnecessary. My best Wishes 
will attend you to Germany, & wherever else you may 
happen to be, being with the sincerest Esteem & Respect, 
(will you permit me to add Affection) Your most obliged & 

obedient humble Servant 

B. F. 2 

The Countess d'Houdetot is well known to every reader of 
Rousseau's " Confessions." Her salon was famous, and her 
wit and beauty were extolled by the arbiters of letters and 

1 These verses were printed at the request of Franklin, by Didot the 
elder, in 1783. 

2 From a rough draft in U. of P. 


society. She was well acquainted with the family of Creve- 
cceur, and commended that singularly interesting author and 
patriot to the fostering care of Franklin. She gave a fete 
champ&re in honour of Franklin at her country-seat at Sanois, 
in the valley of Montmorency. It was the isth of April, 
1781. He was met by her family half a mile from the cha- 
teau, and handed from his carriage by the Countess who 
bade him welcome with the following verses of her own 

" Ame du heros, et du Sage 
Oh liberte ! premier bienfait des dieux ! 
Helas ! c'est de trop loin que nous t'offrons des voeux ; 
Ce n'est qu'en soupirant que nous rendons hommage 
Au mortel qui forma des citoyens heureux." 

At dinner a stanza was recited or sung by each of the guests 
with each glass of wine. 

" De Benjamin celebrons la memoire, 
Chantons le bien qu'il a fait aux mortels ; 
En Amerique il aura des autels, 
Et dans Sanoy nous buvons a sa gloire." 

At the second glass, the Countess sang the following quat- 

" II rend ses droits a 1'humaine nature, 
Pour 1'affranchir il voulut 1'eclairer, 
Et la vertu, pour se faire adorer, 
De Benjamin emprunta la figure." 

At the third glass, the Viscount d'Houdetot sang : 

" Guillaume Tell fut brave, mais sauvage ; 
J'estime plus notre cher Benjamin ; 
De 1' Amerique en fixant le destin, 
A table il rit, et c'est la le vrai sage." 

At the fourth, the Viscountess sang: 

" Je dis aussi, vive Philadelphie ! 
L'independance a de quoi me tenter ; 
Dans ce pays je voudrais habiter, 
Quoiqu'il n'y ait ni bal ni comedie." 


At the fifth, Madame de Pernan : 

" Tous nos enfants apprendront de leurs meres 
A vous aimer, vous croire et vous benir ; 
Vous enseignez ce qui peut reunir 
Tous les humains dans les bras d'un seul pere." 

At the sixth, Count de Tressan: 

" Vive Sanoy ! Cest ma Philadelphie 
Lorsque j'y vois son cher legislateur ; 
J'y rajeunis dans le sein du bonheur, 
J'y ris, j'y bois, et j'ecoute Sophie." 

At the seventh, the Count d'Apche": 

" Pour soutenir cette charte sacree 
Qu'Edouard accorda aux Anglais, 
Je sens qu'il n'est de chevalier Fran?ais 
Qui ne desire employer son epee." 

After dinner Franklin at the request of the Countess planted 
in the garden a Virginia locust tree, when another stanza was 
repeated which was inscribed upon a marble pillar near the 

"Arbre sacre, durable monument 
Du sejour qu'en ces lieux a daigne faire un sage, 
De ces jardins devenu Pornement, 
Recevez-y le juste hommage 
De nos vceux et de notre encens ; 
Et puissiez-vous dans tous les ages, 
A jamais respecte du temps, 
Vivre autant que son nom, ses lois et ses ouvrages." 

On their return, they were met by a band of music, which 
accompanied the whole family in the following song : 

" Que cet arbre, plante par sa main bienfaisante, 
Elevant sa tige naissante 
Au dessus du sterile ormeau, 
Par sa fleur odoriferante, 
Parfume 1'air de cet heureux hameau. 
La foudre ne pourra 1'atteindre, 
Elle respectera son faite et ses rameaux ; 
Franklin nous enseigna par ses heureux travaux 


A la diriger ou a 1'eteindre, 
Tandis qu'il detruisait des maux 
Pour la terre encore plus a plaindre." 

Towarxl evening Dr. Franklin was reconducted by the 
whole company to his carriage, and, before the door was shut, 
the Countess pronounced the following complimentary verses 
composed by herself : 

" Legislateur d'un monde, et bienfaiteur des deux, 
L'homme dans tous les temps te devra ses hommages ; 
Et je m'acquitte dans ces lieux 
De la dette de tous les ages." 

The genuine regard that he had for her and the happy 
memory of the glad hours at Sanois are reflected in a letter 
from Philadelphia: 1 


I have received several kind Letters from my beloved 
Friend, all of which gave me great Pleasure as they inform'd 
me of your Welfare. The Memory of your Friendship, & 
of the happy Hours I have passed in your sweet Society at 
Sanois, has often made me regret the Distance, that makes our 
ever meeting again impossible. I wrote a few Lines to you 
last Year, and sent them under Cover to M. St. Jean de Creve- 
cceur, believing him then in France, but he arrived here soon 
after. I hope however that my Letter may have reach'd you ; 
for as I grow older, I find Writing more painful; and I 
never have been more Bother'd with Business than since my 
Return. This however will cease in a great degree with the 
third and last Year of my Presidentship of which near four 
Months are now spent. The Accounts I have heard of the 

1 In L. C. It is undated, but from its reference to his term of service as 
president of Pennsylvania, must have been written in February, 1788. 


Misunderstandings and Trouble that has arisen in the Gov- 
ernment of that dear Country in which I pass'd nine of the 
happiest Years of my Life, gave me a great deal of Pain ; but 
I hope all will tend to its Good in the End. We have been 
labouring here to establish a new Form of Federal Govern- 
ment for all the United States and there is a Probability of its 
being adopted and carried into Execution, it being difficult 
to reconcile and accommodate so many & jarring Interests. 
If the Project succeeds our Government will be more energetic, 
and we shall be in a better condition of being serviceable to our 
Friends on any future Occasion. 

Adieu ma chere & toujours-aimable Amie, and believe me 

Yours most affectionately 


She wrote in reply: 

Sannois, le 26 Aoust 1788. 

Je n'ay pu aprendre, mon cher et ve'ne'rable Docteur 
1'heureux evenement qui donne une Constitution a votre pays 
sans 6prouver le sentiment le plus doux dont le cceur humain 
soit susceptible, celuy de voir le bonheur d'une partie du globe 
assure* par les progres de la raison et le succes des lumieres. 
La part que vous et Pillustre Wasington ave*s a cet eVenement 
y ajoute le plaisir de voir la vertu heureuse, et recompensed 
par le plus digne des succes. Si aucune ceuvre humaine n'a 
le sceau de la perfection, s'il ya encore quelque chose a 
reformer dans la constitution que vous adopted, les mSmes 
lumieres qui Pont organised la perfectionneront un jour et 
vous goute*s au moins le bien le plus necessaire a votre con- 
servation, celuy d'en avoir une, je jouis moy du spectacle de 

VOL. X 2G 


la vieillesse contente du complement de gloire et de bonheur 
que le ciel devait & votre belle carriere. 

Accepted mes felicitations mon cher et ve'ne'rable Docteur 
vous connaisse*s le coeur qui vous les offre et combien il est 
remply de ve'ne'ration et d'attachement pour vous. On 
m'assure que votre sante* est bonne, le bonheur de votre pays 
prolongera encore votre belle vie qui sera aussi rare par sa 
dure"e qu'elle 1'aura 6t par les talens et les vertus qui Pont 
remplie. Permette's moy de serrer contre mon coeur avec 
une tendresse religieuse 1'homme de mon siecle qui me paraist 
meriter le mieux les respects du genre humain et de vous 
repeter ce que je vous ay dit dans ma petite feste de Sannois. 

" Legislateur d'un monde et 

Bienfaiteur des deux 

L'homme dans tous les terns te devra ses hommages 
Et je m'acquitte dans ces lieux 
De la dette de tous les ages." 


In another letter written to Philadelphia she again refers 
to the tree-planting. 

Sannois le 7 May 1787 

J'ay e*crit a mon cher et ve'ne'rable docteur plusieurs 
lettres dont j'ignore le sort. Mais je ne puis laisser passer 
une occasion sure sans luy renouveller 1'homage de mon 
attachement et de ma tendre ve'ne'ration. J'ose vous suplier 
mon cher et respectable docteur d'estre persuade* que les 
traces en sont inefaceables. J'ay joui avec delices de votre 
heureux et triomphant retour dans cette patrie qui vous doit 
tant et ou vous emportie's les vceux des deux Mondes. Puis- 
sie"s vous achever doucement une carriere encore longtems 
prolonged entre les bras de vos parans, de vos compatriotes 


reconnaissans. Vous aure"s 6t6 instruit des revolutions qui 
se sont passe"es dans 1'administration de notre pays et 1'in- 
terest que vous prene"z a nous vous fera admirer les Granges 
circonstances qui nous donnent dans ce moment pour Minis- 
tre principal un eleve, un e*mule de Mf. Turgot et par conse"- 
quent l'espe"rance du plus beau gouv^ernement, nos allies 
y gagneront sans doute, car tout gagne quand la raison gou- 
verne ; puisse seulement estre plus durable le bien que nous 
espe*rons. Adieu mon cher Docteur songe"s quelque fois a 
moi, a Sannois, a cet arbre \6n6r6, plante" de vos mains et 
qui croist sur ce coin de terre qui m'apartient et oil il m'est 
si doux de penser a vous et de rendre homage a vos vertus 
a vos lumieres et a tout ce qui vous rend respectable et cher 
a 1'humanite'. C'est la, vous le scave"s mon genre de deVotion 
et vous e"tes un de ms Saints. 

His first visit to Sanois was in April, 1781, the second in 
June, 1784. The arrangements for the latter are set forth 
in the following letter: 

Me permette*s-vous mon cher et ve'ne'rable docteur de vous 
demander de vos nouvelles ; et dans l'e"loigneinent ou je suis 
de vous de m'informer au moins comment vous vous porte*s 
et si vous pense"s quelques fois a la personne la plus remplie 
des sentimens de 1'attachement le plus tendre et de la plus 
profonde ve'ne'ration. Je ne puis oublier la touchante bonte" 
avec laquelle vous ave*s bien voulu songer aux moyens de 
venir encore embellir ma solitude que vousave*s de"ja consacr^e ; 
et je n'ay song^ qu a vous en faciliter les moyens. Je me 
suis assur6 d'un yacht commode, dont vous disposer's en 
preVenant quelques jours d'avance amn qu'il soit parfaite- 
ment en e*tat, il appartient a MF. de la Pert' des Menns ( ?) 


et il sera k vos ordres ainsy que son batellier, avec lesquels 
j'ay me" me fait prix pour que vous n'en soy 6s pas obe're' ; ils 
demandent soixante livres Faille et la venue. Ils vous 
conduiraient a Epinay, qui est a une petite lieue de chez 
moy, ou j'irais vous recevoir, vous auriez dans votre prome- 
nade k pied le the" et du repos a une maison a moide* chemin. 
En allant par eau jusqu'a Argenteuil vous auries moins de 
chemin & pied de pres de moitie" mais il f aut un peu monter le 
chemin n'est pas si doux ; il faudrait, mon cher Docteur que 
cela s'executat au mois ou nous entrons, je quitte Sannois 
au mois de Juillet pour voyager et d'ailleurs la saison serait 
trop chaude et la campagne moins belle, vous n'auriez qu'a 
m'informer du jour ou vous voudrie"s partir et celuy de votre 
retour, il faut au moins plusieurs jours de se"jour chez moy, si 
cela pouvait aller a huit ou plus. Ah! mon cher Docteur 
quelle peine pour moy se je n'ay fait la qu'un beau songe. 
Je m'en remets a votre bonte*, a votre prudence, a la persua- 
sion ou vous devs e"tre que je ne voudrais pas acheter le plus 
grand plaisir de ma vie aux risques de vous exposer a la 
moindre incommodite'. Decides done de mon sort mon cher 
Docteur et tel qu'il soit rappele's vous la tendre amitie* et 
1'estime de celle qui vous ^crit en particulier et le respect et la 
reconnaissance qu'elle partage avec le reste des hommes. 
Permette's moi de me recommander aux soins et aux souvenirs 
de Monsieur Franklin votre petit fils qui vous accompagnera 
a ce que j'espere. Je serais bien charme*e si vous voulife 
aussy m'amenner ce jeune petit fils que j'ay chez vous dont la 
figure charmante est deja par^e d'un si beau caractere de 
franchise et de liberte*. 


k Sannois le 31 May 1784. 


John Adams records another of Franklin's admirations. 
He says, " Mr. Franklin, who at the age of seventy odd had 
neither lost his love of beauty nor his taste for it, called 
Mademoiselle de Passy his favourite, and his flame, and his 
love, which flattered the family and did not displease the young 
lady." This girl, one of the most beautiful in France, was 
contracted to the Marquis de Tonnerre. When the engage- 
ment was announced, Madame de Chaumont said to Franklin, 
"Helas ! tous les conducteurs de Monsieur Franklin n'ont pas 
empe'che' le tonnerre de tomber sur Mademoiselle de Passy." 
In the same spirit of pleasantry Franklin wrote to the bride's 
mother, Madame de Boulainvilliers : "It gives me great 
Pleasure Madam my respected Neighbour to leam that our 
lovely Child is soon to be married with your Approbation 
& that we are not however to be immediately depriv'd of 
her Company. I assure you I shall make no Use of my 
Paratonnerre to prevent this Match. I pray God to favour it 
with his choicest Blessings, and that it may afford many 
Occasions of Felicity to all concerned. I wish you and yours 
a thousand happy Returns of this Season, and am, with 
affectionate Respect. 

"Madam etc. 

"B. F." 

Franklin had high regard for his fellow academician Jean 
Baptiste Le Roy. He belonged to a talented family. Three 
of his brothers had won distinction hi science. Franklin 
wrote the " Maritime Observations " for Julien David Le Roy. 

Merry meetings took place in the house of the Le Roy 
family, at which occasions a chanson a boire composed by 
J. B. LeRoy was sung to the air of des treize Cantons. 



Que 1'histoire sur L'airain 
Grave le nom de Franklin 
Pour moi je veux a sa gloire 
Faire une chanson a boire 
Le verre en main 
Chantons notre Benjamin. 

En politique il est grand 
A table joyeux et franc 
Tout enfondant un Empire 
Vous le voyez boire et rire 
Le Verre en Main 
Chantons notre Benjamin. 

The wife of Le Roy was admired of Franklin. He called 
her petite femme de poche, addressed her so in his letters, 
and she replied in like manner. I have been able to find but 
two letters written to her, though several sent by her to Frank- 
lin are in Philadelphia and Washington. She invited him 
to dinner, " Voule vous mon cher ami, dine avec moi Mercredi, 
j'ay la plus grande envie des vous voire et de vous embrasse." 
To which he promptly and gallantly replied, "Assurement je 
ne manquerai pas de me rendre chez vous Mercredi prochaine. 
J'ai trop de plaisir en vous voyant, en vous entendant parler, 
& trop de Felicite" quand je vous ai entre mes bras, pour 
oublier une Invitation si precieuse." 

In 1787 he wrote to her from Philadelphia: 

" J'ai recu la charmante petit Billet de ma tre"s bonne petite 
femme de poche. Je ne 1'ai pas oublie", comme elle suppose, 
quoique ma long Silence donne quelque semblanse a cette 
Idee ; mais j'ai e*t6 trop embarass6 des Affaires de toute espece, 
qui ne m'ont pas permis d'e'crire Lettres a mes Amis. Neant- 
moins j'ai pense* sou vent de vous, & de votre ancienne 


Amiti pour moi, avec les Sentiments le plus vives d'Estime 
& d' Affection. Vous etiez bien courageuse de monter si 
haut en PAir par le Ballon. Et vous etiez bien bonne, 
qu'&ant si pres des Cieux, vous n'avez pas pense" de nous 
quitter & rester chez les Anges. Je vous embrasse bien tend- 
rement, & je vous souhaite toute sorte de Felicite". Adieu." * 

The petite jemme de poche replied (June 23, 1787): 

"Vous me complimentez mon cher bon papa sur mon 
courage d'avoir monte* dans un ballon. Helas cela n'a send 
qu'a me dormer des regrets de ce qu'on ne pouvoit pas aller 
bien loin avec. Car si cette voiture avoit pu me transporter 
vers vous j'aurois &6 aux anges et j'y serois reste" mon cher 
papa et vous auroit prouv^ toute la consideration toute 1'estime 
que vous avez grave" dans mon cceur d'une maniere ineffac- 
able. Je suis enchanted que vous portiez, je fais des vceux 
bien smceres pour que vous viviez longtemps avec une sant6* 
parfaite. Les grands homines devraient 6tre immortels 
pour le bien de Phumanite' et des sciences dont vous faites 
le triomphe. Je vous suis tres oblige* de toutes les fe'licite's 
que vous me souhaitez. Helas je n'en ai plus pour moi j'ai 
tout perdu, je n'ai plus de man, il ne vit plus pour moi; 
tout ce qui ne devrait pas le poss6der en jouit. II abandonne 
tout, Phonneur, le veritable sentiment ne lui est plus de rien. 
II n'aime que ce qui a fait mon malheur. Adieu mon cher 
bon ami je vous assure que tant que j'aurai le souffle de la vie 
votre petite femme de poche vous aimera, elle vous embrasse 
de tout son cceur. 

"Ce23de Juin 1787 Rue Denf er pres le Luxembourg N 9 12 2. 
Si vous me faites encore 1'amitie* de m'6crire voila mon 

1 From a rough draft in L. C. 


adresse a M e Le Roy ne'e Baronne de Messey et la suite 
de 1'adresse de ma lettre. 

"J'ai vue samedi dernier votre amie M Helve"tius et 
nous avons bien parle" de vous, je vous assure de toute son 
amide", elle est outree des proceeds de mon mari envers moi, 
elle sait mieux que personne que je ne les merite nullement, il 
la fuit et tout ce qui m'aime et n'aime que ce qui a inte*r6t de 
me faire hair de lui et ce qui n'aime pas les femmes honnfites." 1 

It was a gallant life and a brilliant society that is mirrored 
in the correspondence of Paris, Passy, and Auteuil. A faint 
perfume lingers yet about the letters which once throbbed with 
passion or smiled with joy. Amid the statues and fountains of 
Versailles fair women had crowned with flowers an ambassa- 
dor who had embodied all the promise of the alluring future. 
The last picture that dwells with us presents an old and 
crippled man, seated in his garden, in Franklin court, waited 
upon by a " very gross and rather homely " daughter, sur- 
rounded by a group of young and boisterous grandchildren, 
and visited by strangers prompted by curiosity or reverence. 
A few steps away is the state-house where liberty was pro- 
claimed. His thoughts wander across the sea. His mind is 
busy with the recollection of friends a thousand leagues 
away, across whose lives the chill shadow of an impending 
doom is already falling. 



UPON the 2d of May, 1785, Franklin received the per- 
mission of Congress to return to America. The following 

1 From the original in A. P. S. 


day he notified the Count de Vergennes and begged him, 
inasmuch as his malady prevented him paying his devoirs at 
Versailles personally, to express respectfully for him to his 
Majesty the deep sense he had of all the inestimable benefits 
his goodness had conferred upon America. "My sincere 
prayers are that God may shower down his blessings on the 
King, the Queen, their children, and all the royal family to 
the latest generations." Vergennes replied: 

Versailles, 22 May, 1785. 


I have learned with much concern of your retiring and of 
your approaching departure for America. You cannot doubt 
but that the regrets which you will leave will be proportionate 
to the consideration you so justly enjoy. 

I can assure you, Sir, that the esteem the King entertains 
for you does not leave you anything to desire, and that his 
Majesty will learn with real satisfaction that your fellow 
citizens have rewarded, in a manner worthy of you, the impor- 
tant services that you have rendered. 

I beg, Sir, that you will preserve for me a share in your 
remembrance, and never doubt the sincerity of the interest I 
take in your happiness. It is founded on the sentiments of 
attachment, of which I have assured you, and with which I 
have the honour to be, etc. 


The king said to Vergennes when the minister was taking 
his orders, "Je desire que Monsieur Franklin sait bien 
traite"." The royal present was a large miniature of the king, 
set with four hundred and eight diamonds of a beautiful 
water forming a wreath round the picture, and a crown on 


the top. It was valued at fifteen hundred louis d'ors. 
Franklin gave his "introductor" a gold enamelled snuff- 
box, of about one hundred and fifty louis d'ors' value, and 
understanding that it would be more agreeable to his assist- 
ant, M. de Sequeville, to receive his present hi money, he 
sent him a rouleau of fifty louis d'ors. 1 

Franklin began at once his preparations for the homeward 
journey. His malady had advanced to that stage that any 
exertion or motion was painful to him. For a considerable 
time he had not been able to go about save on a litter in a 
barge upon the Seine. The difficulties, therefore, in the way of 
reaching the sea seemed almost insurmountable. Moreover, 
he could not but at heavy expense sail from Havre, for a vessel 
touching at that port thereby made her insurance void, and 
to insure with permission to touch there meant a large addition 
to the premium. Attempts had been made in London to 
accommodate John Jay in that way, "but none would go 
under from two to four hundred guineas." If Franklin 
should not be at Havre at the moment of the ship's sailing, 
the expense of her waiting would be about five guineas a day. 

M. de Castries, Minister of Marine, wrote to Franklin 
(July 10, 1785): 


I was not apprized, until within a few hours, of the ar- 
rangements which you have made for your departure. Had 
I been informed of it sooner, I should have proposed to the 
King to order a frigate to convey you to your own country, 
in a manner suitable to the known importance of the services 

1 W. T. Franklin to Thomas Jefferson, April 27, 1790 (L. C.). Lee and 
Deane received royal presents worth three hundred louis d'ors. 


you have been engaged in, to the esteem you have acquired 
in France, and the particular esteem which his Majesty enter- 
tains for you. 

I pray you, Sir, to accept my regrets, and the renewed 
assurance of the most entire consideration, with which I have 
the honour to be, Sir, your very humble and very obedient 


One of the queen's litters, borne by Spanish mules, was 
placed at his disposal by the Due de Coigny, and at a footpace 
the long journey to the coast was begun. 1 

Thomas Jefferson had been appointed, March 10, 1785, 
Franklin's successor as minister plenipotentiary. He had 
already been seven months in France under a commission to 
assist Franklin and Adams hi negotiating commercial treaties 
with the European powers. He had noticed the universal 
admiration and reverence with which Franklin was regarded. 
He said : " There appeared to me more respect and veneration 
attached to the character of Franklin in France than to that 
of any other person in the same country, foreign or native. 
I had frequent opportunities of knowing particularly how 
far these sentiments were felt by the foreign ambassadors and 
ministers at the court of Versailles. . . . The succession to 
Dr. Franklin at the court of France was an excellent school of 

1 A Paris le 4 Aout 1785. 

Je suis tres aise, Monsieur d'avoir pa faire quelquechose qui vous soft 
agreable en vous procurant une littiere de la petite ecurie du Roy pour vous 
conduire au Havre. Je suis charme que vous en ayez ete content, ainsy que 
du conducteur, et d'avoir cette nouvelle occasion de vous assurer du parfait 
et sincere attachement avec lequel j'ay 1'honneur d'Stre, Monsieur, votre tres 
humble et tres obeissant serviteur. 



humility. On being presented to any one as the minister of 
America, the commonplace question used in such cases was, 
'II est vous, Monsieur, qui remplacez le Docteur Franklin? 
It is you, Sir, who replace Dr. Franklin?' I generally an- 
swered, 'No one can replace him, Sir; I am only his suc- 
cessor.'" 1 

Of the journey to Havre, and thence to Cowes where he 
embarked in a Philadelphia ship commanded by Captain 
Truxtun, he has left an account in his diary. 

All the world followed his slow progress with close atten- 
tion. While his baggage was being sent to the sea by a barge 
upon the Seme, he performed his last public act in Europe 
which was to sign a treaty of amity and commerce with 
Prussia. "I have continued," he wrote to his sister, "to 
work till late in the day; it is time I should go home and go 
to bed." 

A letter from Jefferson followed him to the shore. 

Paris July 18. 1785. 


I heard with much pleasure yesterday of your safe arrival 
at Rouen, and that you had not been much fatigued with the 
journey. This gives me hopes that you will find less diffi- 
culty in the rest of the voiage. on my parting with you at 
Passy I went to the Duke of Dorset's, he was not at home. 
I asked an hour the next day and waited on him. he prom- 
ised to write the necessary letters to England to protect your 
baggage. Independantly of this I wrote to Mr Adams by 

1 February 12, 1791. See Jefferson's Works, III, 211. Jefferson also 
wrote to Congress : " Europe fixes an attentive eye on your reception of 
Doctor Franklin. He is infinitely esteemed. Do not neglect any mark of 
your approbation which you think proper. It will honour you here." 


Mr Harrison who left this the day before you. I hope there- 
fore that between the two agents you will meet with no diffi- 
culty at Cowes. we have nothing new since your departure 
worth your notice, a Mons' Duplessis called here to desire 
me to have copied for you a long memoire on some animals 
(I think) of South America. I knew neither the person nor 
subject, nor how far it might be interesting to you, and as it 
appeared to contain many sheets of paper, & I had no secre- 
tary, I declined copying it myself, if it is any thing you wish 
to see & will drop me a line I will have it copied, be pleased 
to make my compliments to your grandsons and be assured 
of the esteem with which I have the honour to be, etc, 


The Bishop of St. Asaph, Benjamin Vaughan, and William 
Franklin were at the Isle of Wight waiting to say farewell to 
him. From them he learned of the death of his old friend, 
William Strahan. He discussed lead poisoning with Vaughan, 
the completion of his Memoirs with Bishop Shipley, and per- 
sonal affairs relating to property in America with his son. 
David Hartley got within a mile of Cowes, and met the Bishop 
returning after the ship had sailed. Eagerly and anxiously 
his friends in Europe waited for news of his safe arrival. 
Le Veillard wrote to him .that every wind blowing too vio- 
lently from the west filled the household at Passy with alarm. 
"We never walk in the garden," Catharine Shipley wrote 
from Twyford, "without seeing Dr. Franklin's room, and 
thinking of the work that was begun in it." Souvenirs of 
him were prized as sacred relics. Madame le Veillard had 
his tea-table^ M. de Chaumont his table of Mangoni wood 

1 From the original letter in U. of P. 


with a mechanical bar by which it might be raised and low- 
ered. Abbe* Morellet counted as the chief est of his posses- 
sions Franklin's fauteuil doctoral. 

Soon distressing rumours were hi circulation. The news- 
papers reported that his ship was captured by the Algerines, 
and he taken prisoner to Algiers. Others said that he had 
been taken to Morocco and to Fez and sold to slavery, 
which he was suffering with all the fortitude of a philosopher. 

Then came fresh alarms, that he was ill of a fever at Ma- 
deira, that his ship was wrecked at Henlopen, and finally that 
he had landed at New York "shaked with a burning quo- 
tidian tertian." 

When, at last, the authentic news came of his safe arrival 
after a pleasant and not long voyage marked by nothing more 
extraordinary than the writing of a treatise upon the cause 
and cure of smoky chimneys, and a dissertation upon divers 
maritime observations, Le Veillard's relief and gratitude found 
expression in the folio whig letter : 

Passy, 30 Octobre 1785. 

Je vous remercie, mon cher amy, d'avoir pris la peine de 
m'e*crire au moment ou vous estiez environne* de tant d'objets 
interessants ; ce que votre petit fils m'e'crit sur votre rcep- 
tion a Philadelphie cause a tous nos amis et surtout a moy la 
joie la plus vive ; je me suis figure" le Pere e*ternel ayant tenu 
ses assises au purgatoire et recu a son retour dans le paradis 
par les ames qu'il y avoit envoye'es d'avance ; quel glorieux 
moment pour vous que celu you vous estes, apres neuf ans 
d 'absence, rentre' dans votre patrie de venue libre par votre 
intelligence et vos soins, d'y recevoir de 1'universalite' de vos 
concitoyens les temoignages les plus purs de tous les senti- 


ments qui peuvent flatter une grande ame ! et qu'il s'en faut 
que les pre"tendus triomphes de ces anciens brigands de Rome 
fussent aussi complets que le votre ! O mon amy ! la belle 
vie que la Providence vous a donne"e ! 

Mais avez-vous rempli vos promesses ? vous estes-vous oc- 
cupe* en route a la rediger? la recevrai-je bientdt? Songez 
que c'est un des plus grands moyens d'adoucir la peine que 
notre separation me causera toute la vie, et que si vous ne 
vous acquittez pas 20 originaux e"criront des volumes sans 
nombre de contes absurd es intitules " Vie du D Franklin"; 
le "Mercure de France" depuis votre depart a dja donne" 
un avis pour detromper ceux qui croyent votre famille origi- 
naire de Pontoise a 7 lieues de Paris, il pretend que votre 
pere e*toit n a Boston, qu'il imprimeur etc. etc. 

Si vous avez 6t6 faclie" tous les jours que je ne vous aye pas 
accompagne", croyez que j'ai eu les me'mes regrets et si j'avois 
pu penser deux mois plutot que je ne vous serois pas a charge 
j'aurois fait en sorte de ne vous pas quitter me"me quand 
Dieu m'aurait conSe* sa gayete* du 23 Aout. 

Mais vous avez de grand reproches a vous faire, vous aviez 
ici deux bonnes amies qui vivoient assezd'accord parce qu'elles 
ne voyaient presque jamais et que vous assuriez chacune en 
particulier que c'&oit elle que vous aimiez le mieux; mais 
vous &:rivez a 1'une et vous gardez le silence avec 1'autre? 
La premiere ne manque pas de se vanter et de montrer sa 
lettre partout ; que voulez-vous que devienne Pautre ? Voila 
deux femmes a couteaux tire's, leurs amis prennent parti, 
la guerre devient ge'ne'rale, voilk pourtant ce que vous avez 
fait ! Vous mettez avec un simple papier le feu a la moiti6 
du monde qui vous a si bien aide* a pacifier 1'autre ! Et quel 
embarras vous nous donnez a nous autres pour arr^ter les 


suites d'une pareille animosite" ! Ah si vous reveniez vous ne 
seriez pas recu ici comme chez vous. Heureusement cepen- 
dant que M* Brillon au moment ou vos lettres sont arrive'es 
s'occupait a marier sa fille, elle a e"pous le 20 de ce mois M* 
Vialal de Malachelle, conseiller de la Cour des aides, il doit 
quitter cette charge pour remplir celle de M Brillon, il est 
riche, fils unique et nous espe'rons qu'il rendra sa femme heur- 
euse ; cette affaire a rendu moins sensible a M Brillon votre 
ingratitude, mais ensuite gare a sa colere, ses nerfs et sa ven- 
geance ! 

Point de nouvelles ici, la Cour chasse et voit des com&lies 
a Fontainebleau. Le proces du Cardinal de Rohan dont je 
vous ai mande" le sujet ne finira qu'a la rentre*e du Parlement. 

Tous les miens vous aiment et vous aimeront toujours, ils 
pleurent et sourient quand on parle de vous, ils vous embras- 
sent de tous leurs bras. Madame de Chaumont va revenir ici, 
tous mes voisins, nos amis communs surtout la famille du 
Due de la Rochefoucault me chargent d'amitie's, de respects 
et de felicitations pour vous. Adieu, mon cher amy, je suis 
a vous pour ma vie. 


The fragmentary journal, preserved in the Library of 
Congress, supplies the daily record of his journey from Paris 
to Philadelphia : 

Having stayed hi France about eight years and a half, I 
took leave of the court and my friends, and set out on my re- 
turn home, July i2th, 1785, leaving Passy with my two grand- 
sons, at four P. M. ; arrived about eight o'clock at St. Germain. 
M. de Chaumont, with his daughter Sophia, accompanied us 
to Nanterre. M. Le Veillard will continue with us to Havre. 


We met at St. Germain the Miss Alexanders, with Mrs. 
Williams our cousin, who had provided a lodging for me at 
M. Benoit's. I found that the motion of the litter, lent me by 
the Duke de Coigny, did not much incommode me. It was 
one of the Queen's, carried by two very large mules, the 
muleteer riding another ; M. Le Veillard and my children in 
a carriage. We drank tea at M. Benoit's, and went early 
to bed. 

Wednesday, July i^th. Breakfast with our friends, take 
leave and continue our journey, dine at a good inn at Meulan, 
and get to Mantes hi the evening. A messenger from the 
Cardinal de la Rochefoucauld meets us there, with an invi- 
tation to us to stop at his house at Gaillon the next day, ac- 
quainting us at the same time, that he would take no excuse ; 
for, being all-powerful in his archbishopric, he would stop 
us nolens volens at his habitation, and not permit us to lodge 
anywhere else. We consented. Lodged at Mantes. Found 
myself very little fatigued with the day's journey, the mules 
going only foot pace. 

July i/\th. Proceed early, and breakfast at Vernon. Re- 
ceived a visit there from Vicomte de Tilly and his Comtesse. 
Arrive at the Cardinal's without dining, about six in the 
afternoon. It is a superb ancient chateau, built about three 
hundred and fifty years since, but in fine preservation, on an 
elevated situation, with an extensive and beautiful view over 
a well-cultivated country. The Cardinal is archbishop of 
Rouen. A long gallery contains the pictures of all his 
predecessors. The chapel is elegant in the old style, with 
well-painted glass windows. The terrace magnificent. We 
supped early. The entertainment was land and cheerful. 
We were allowed to go early to bed, on account of our inten- 

VOL. X 2H 


tion to depart early in the morning. The Cardinal pressed 
us to pass another day with him, offering to amuse us with 
hunting in his park ; but the necessity we are under of being 
in time at Havre, would not permit. So we took leave and 
retired to rest. The Cardinal is much respected and beloved 
by the people of this country, bearing in all respects an excel- 
lent character. 

July i$lh. Set out about five in the morning, travelled 
till ten, then stopped to breakfast, and remained in the inn 
during the heat of the day. We had heard at the Cardinal's, 
that our friend Mr. Holker, of Rouen, had been out that day 
as far as Port St. Antoine to meet us ; expecting us there from 
a letter of M. de Chaumont's. Here came to us one of his 
servants, who was sent to inquire if any accident had happened 
to us on the road, and was ordered to proceed till he got 
intelligence. He went directly back, and we proceeded. We 
passed a chain of chalk mountains very high, with strata of 
flints. The quantity that appears to have been washed away 
on one side of these mountains, leaving precipices of three 
hundred feet high, gives an idea of extreme antiquity. It 
seems as if done by the beating of the sea. We got to Rouen 
about five ; were most affectionately received by Mr. and Mrs. 
Holker. A great company of genteel people at supper, which 
was our dinner. The chief President of the Parliament and 
his lady invite us to dine the next day ; but, being preengaged 
with Mr. Holker, we compounded for drinking tea. We 
lodge all at Mr. Holker's. 

July i6th. A deputation from the Academy of Rouen 
came with their compliments, which were delivered in form, 
and a present for me by one of the directors, being a magical 
square, which I think he said expressed my name. I have 


perused it since, but do not comprehend it. The Duke de 
Chabot's son, lately married to a Montmorency, and colonel 
of a regiment now at Rouen, was present at the ceremony, 
being just come in to visit me. I forgot to mention that I 
saw with pleasure, hi the Cardinal's cabinet, a portrait of 
this young man's grandmother, Madame la Duchesse d'En- 
ville, who had always been our friend, and treated us with 
great civilities at Paris ; a lady of uncommon intelligence and 

I received here also a present of books, 3 vols. 4to., from 
Dr. , with a very polite letter, which I answered. 

We had a great company at dinner ; and at six went hi a 
chair to the President's, where were assembled some gentlemen 
of the robe. We drank tea there, awkwardly made, for 
want of practice, very little being drunk hi France. I went 
to bed early; but my company supped with a large invited 
party, and were entertained with excellent singing. 

July i.'jth. Set out early. Mr. Holker accompanied us 
some miles, when we took an affectionate leave of each other. 
Dine at Yvetot a large town, and arrive at Bolbec, being the 
longest day's journey we have yet made. It is a market- 
town of considerable bigness, and seems thriving ; the people 
well clad, and appear better fed than those of the wine coun- 
tries. A linen-printer here offered to remove to America, 
but I did not encourage him. 

July i8th. Left Bolbec about ten o'clock, and arrive at 
Havre at five P.M., having stopped on the road at a miserable 
inn to bait. We were very kindly received by M. and Mde. 
Ruellan. The governor makes us a visit, and some other 

July -Ltyh. We receive visits in form from the intendant, 


the governor or commandant, the officers of the regiment of 
Poitou and Picardy, the corps of engineers, and M. Limosin. 

M. Limosin proposes several vessels; all very dear. We 
wait for the packet from Southampton. Dine at M. Ruellan's, 
where we lodge. Receive the affiliation of the lodge at Rouen. 

July 2oth. Return the visits. Receive one from the 
corps de marine; and one from the corps d'artillerie. M. 
Houdon arrives and brings me letters. Dine at M. Limo- 
sin's. Present M. and Mde. Le Mesurier and their sister, 
agreeable people of Alderney (Aurigny). Kindly entertained 
by M. Limosin and his daughter. Return the last visits. 

The packet-boat arrives, and, the captain (Jennings) 
calling at our lodging, we agree with him to carry us and the 
baggage we have here for ten guineas, to land us at Cowes. 
We are to depart to-morrow evening. 

July 2ist. We had another visit from M. de Villeneuve, 
the commandant, inviting us to dine with him to-morrow; 
but, intending to go off this evening, we could not accept that 

Dine with our friendly host and hostess. Mde. Feme's, 
Mde. de Clerval, and two other ladies, visit M. Le Veillard, 
with several gentlemen. 

In the evening, when we thought we were on the point of 
departing, the captain of the packet comes and acquaints 
us that the wind is right against us, and blows so hard, that 
it is impossible to get out, and we give up the project till to- 

July 22d. Breakfast, and take leave of some friends, 
and go on board the packet at half after ten. Wind not very 

July 2$d. Buffet all night against the northwest wind, 


which was full in our teeth. This continued till two o'clock 
to-day, then came fair, and we stand our course. At seven 
P.M. we discover land, the Isle of Wight. 

July 24th. We had a fair wind all night, and this morning 
at seven o'clock, being off Cowes, the captain represented to 
me the difficulty of getting in there against the flood ; and 
proposed that we should rather run up to Southampton, which 
we did, and landed there between eight and nine. Met my 
son, who had arrived from London the evening before, with 
Mr. Williams and Mr. J. Alexander. Wrote a letter to the 
Bishop of St. Asaph, acquainting him with my arrival, and he 
came with his lady and daughter, Miss Kitty, after dinner, to 
see us; they talk of staying here as long as we do. Our 
meeting was very affectionate. I write letters to London, viz. 
to Messrs. W. J. M. and Co., to acquaint them with our arri- 
val, and desire to know when the ship will sail, and to Mr. 
Williams. These letters went by post, before we knew of 
his being here. Wrote also to Mr. B. Vaughan. 

July 2$th. The Bishop and family lodging in the same 
inn, the Star, we all breakfast and dine together. I went at 
noon to bathe in Martin's salt-water hot-bath, and, floating on 
my back, fell asleep, and slept near an hour by my watch with- 
out sinking or turning ! a thing I never did before, and should 
hardly have thought possible. Water is the easiest bed that 
can be. Read over the writings of conveyance, &c., of my 
son's lands in New Jersey and New York to my grandson. 
Write to M. Ruellan, M. Limosin, M. Holker, and M. Grand. 
Southampton a very neat, pretty place. The two French 
gentlemen, our friends, much pleased with it. The Bishop 
gives me a book in 4to, written by Dean Paley, and the family 
dine with us. Sundry friends came to see me from London ; 


by one I receive a present of my friend Dr. FothergilTs works, 
from Dr. Lettsom, and a book on finance, from Mr. Gale. 
Mr. Williams tells me the ship had fallen down to Gravesend 
the 22d, so that she might be in the Downs the 24th, and pos- 
sibly here to-morrow, that is on the Mother Bank, which we 
can see hence. Mr. Williams brought a letter from Mr. 
Nepean, secretary to Lord Townshend, addressed to Mr. 
Vaughan, expressing that orders would be sent to the custom- 
house at Cowes not to trouble our baggage, &c. It is still 
here on board the packet that brought it over. Mr. Alexander 
takes leave for London; write by him to Mr. Jackson, Dr. 
Jeffries, Dr. Lettsom, and my son-in-law Bache, the latter 
to be sent by the packet. 

July 26th. Deeds signed between W. Franklin and W. T. 

Mr. Williams, having brought sundry necessaries for me, 
goes down with them to Cowes, to be ready for embarking. 
Captain Jennings carries down our baggage that he brought 
from Havre. My dear friend, M. Le Veillard, takes leave 
to go with him. Mr. Vaughan arrives from London, to see 

July 2jth. Give a power to my son to recover what may 
be due to me from the British government. Hear from 
J. Williams that the ship is come. 

We all dine once more with the Bishop and family, who 
kindly accept our invitation to go on board with us. We go 
down in a shallop to the ship. The captain entertains us at 
supper. The company stay all night. 

July 2&th. When I waked in the morning found the 
company gone, and the ship under sail. 

Tuesday, September itfh. The wind springing fair last 


evening after a calm, we found ourselves this morning, at sun- 
rising, abreast of the lighthouse, and between Capes May 
and Henlopen. We sail into the bay very pleasantly; water 
smooth, air cool, day fair and fine. 

We passed Newcastle about sunset, and went on near to 
Red Bank before the tide and wind failed ; then came to an 

Wednesday, September i^th. With the flood in the morn- 
ing came a light breeze, which brought us above Gloucester 
Point, in full view of dear Philadelphia ! when we again cast 
anchor to wait for the health officer, who, having made his 
visit, and finding no sickness, gave us leave to land. My son- 
in-law came with a boat for us ; we landed at Market-Street 
wharf, where we were received by a crowd of people with 
huzzas, and accompanied with acclamations quite to my door. 
Found my family well. 

God be praised and thanked for all his mercies ! 

Immediately upon his return he was chosen President of the 
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and elected a Counsellor for 
the city of Philadelphia. Various public bodies presented 
him with congratulatory addresses. Three of these with his 
answers are found among his papers in the Library of Con- 


The Representatives of the Freemen of the Commonwealth 
of Pennsylvania, in General Assembly met, in the most affec- 
tionate manner congratulate you on your safe arrival in your 


native country after so long an absence on the most im- 
portant business. We likewise congratulate you on the firm 
establishment of the Independence of America, and the 
settlement of a general peace, after the interesting struggle in 
which we were so long engaged. 

We are confident, Sir, that we speak the sentiments of this 
whole country, when we say, that your services, in the public 
councils and negociations, have not only merited the thanks 
of the present generation, but will be recorded in the pages 
of History, to your immortal honour. And it is particularly 
pleasing to us, that, while we are sitting as Members of the 
Assembly of Pennsylvania, we have the happiness of welcom- 
ing into the State a person, who was so greatly instrumental 
in forming its free and excellent Constitution. 

May it please God to give you a serene and peaceful en- 
joyment of the evening of life, and a participation of that hap- 
piness you have been so instrumental hi securing to others 1 
Signed by order of the House, 

JOHN BAYARD, Speaker. 

Assembly Chamber, September i^th, 1785. 



I am extreamly happy to find by your friendly and af- 
fectionate Address, that my Endeavours to serve our Country 
in the late important struggle have met with the Approbation 
of so respectable a Body as the Representatives of the Free- 
men of Pennsylvania. I esteem that Approbation as one of 
the greatest Honours of my Life. I hope the Peace with 
which God has been graciously pleased to bless us may be 


lasting, and that the free Constitution we now enjoy may long 
contribute to promote our common Felicity. The kind 
Wishes of the General Assembly for my particular Happiness 
affect me very sensibly, and I beg they would accept my thank- 
ful acknowledgments. 



It is with peculiar pleasure that The American Philosoph- 
ical Society address you on this occasion. 

The high consideration and esteem, in which we hold your 
Character, so intimately combine with our Regard for the 
Public Welfare, that we participate eminently in the general 
satisfaction which your Return to America produces. 

We bid you Welcome to your native Country, for which you 
have done the most essential Services ; and we welcome you 
to this Chair, your occupying of which, as President, adds to 
our Institution much Lustre in the Eyes of all the World. 

Sir, it reflects Honour on Philosophy, when one, distin- 
guished by his deep Investigations, and many valuable Im- 
provements in it, is known to be equally distinguished for 
his Philanthropy, Patriotism, and liberal Attachment to the 
Rights of human nature. 

We know the favourable Influence, that Freedom has upon 
the Growth of useful Sciences and Arts. We derive En- 
couragement and extraordinary Felicity from an assemblage 
of recent memorable Events. 

And, while we boast in a most pleasing Equality perma- 
nently ascertained, and that Independence which you had so 
great a share in establishing, we have reason to expect, that 


this Society will proceed, with an increasing Success, to 
manage the important Business for which they originally 



The great Honour done me by this Society, in choosing me 
so many Years successively as their President, notwithstand- 
ing my Absence in Europe, and the very kind Welcome they 
are pleas'd to give me on my return, demand my most grateful 
Acknowledgments; which I beg they would be pleased to 
accept, with my warmest Wishes of Success to their laudable 
Endeavours for the Promotion of Useful Knowledge among us, 
to which I shall be happy if I can in any degree contribute. 



The Provost, Vice-Provost, and Professors of the Uni- 
versity of Pennsylvania beg Leave to congratulate you on 
your safe Arrival in your native Country, after having ac- 
complished the Duties of your exalted Character with Dignity 
and Success. 

While we participate in the general Happiness of America, 
to the Establishment of which your political Abilities and 
patriotic Exertions have so signally contributed, we feel a 
particular Pleasure in paying our Acknowledgments to the 
gentleman, who first projected the liberal Plan of the In- 
stitution over which we have the Honour to preside. 


Not contented with enriching the World with the most im- 
portant Discoveries in natural Philosophy, your Benevolence 
and Liberality of sentiment early engaged you to make Pro- 
vision for exciting a Spirit of Enquiry into the secret Opera- 
tions of Nature; for exalting and refining the genius of 
America, by the Propagation of useful Learning ; and for qual- 
ifying many of her Sons to make that illustrious Figure, 
which has commanded the Esteem and Admiration of the 
most polished Nations of Europe. 

Among the many benevolent Projections, which have laid 
so ample a Foundation for the Esteem and Gratitude of your 
native Country, permit this Seminary to reckon her first Es- 
tablishment, upon the solid Principles of equal Liberty, as one 
of the most considerable and important. And now, when 
restored, thro' the Influence of our happy Constitution, to 
her original broad and catholic bottom ; when enriched by the 
Protection and generous Donations of a public-spirited and 
patriotic Assembly; and when flourishing under the Coun- 
tenance of the best Friends of Religion, Learning, and Liberty 
in the State; she cannot but promise herself the continued 
Patronage of the Evening of that life, which divine Providence 
has so eminently distinguished. 

May the same indulgent Providence yet continue your pro- 
tracted Life, enriched and crowned with the best of Blessings, 
to nurse and cherish this favorite Child of your Youth ; that 
the future sons of Science hi this western World may have 
additional Reason to remember the Name of FRANKLIN with 
Gratitude and Pleasure. 

Signed, hi the name and by order of the Faculty, by 

JOHN EWING, Provost. 

Philadelphia, Sept. 16, 1785. 



I am greatly obliged, Gentlemen, by your kind Congratu- 
lations on my safe arrival. 

It gives me extreme Pleasure to find, that Seminaries of 
Learning are increasing in America, and particularly that the 
University over which you preside, continues to flourish. 
My best Wishes will always attend it. 

The Instruction of Youth is one of those Employments, 
which to the Public are most useful; it ought, therefore, to be 
esteem'd among the most honourable. Its successful Ex- 
ercise does not, however, always meet with the Reward it 
merits, except in the satisfaction of having contributed to the 
forming of virtuous and able Men for the Service of their 

Repose and a private life had been Franklin's hope and 
ambition when he left Europe. By an almost unanimous vote 1 
he was immediately chosen Governor of Pennsylvania by the 
Assembly and Council of the State. At the age of eighty he 
had now, hi his own words, "public business enough to pre- 
serve me from ennui, and private amusement besides in con- 
versation, books, my garden, and cribbage." He wrote 
cheerfully, and his letters rarely revealed that the multiplicity 
of private affairs requiring his attention after many years' 
absence from home, and the public business put upon him 
by the government were accomplished under the "teasing 
of a painful disease." 

In November, 1786, he was reflected President of Council 

" Of between seventy and eighty votes, there were only my own and one 
other in the negative." Franklin to Bishop Shipley, February 24, 1786. 


without a single dissenting vote but his own. A convention 
of delegates from the various states was called for the second 
Monday of May, 1787, to make a new Constitution. It con- 
tinued in session until the seventeenth of September. Frank- 
lin attended the business of it five hours in every day from 
the beginning, something more than four months. 1 He was 
usually carried between his residence and the state-house in a 
sedan chair, though at times he attempted to walk, and he 
fancied that the daily exercise of going and returning improved 
his health. 

We have a glimpse of his condition in a letter from Samuel 
Vaughan to Richard Price (November 4, 1786): "I spend 
many agreeable evenings with our good friend Dr. Franklin, 
who, except for the stone, which prevents his using exercise 
except hi walking in the house, up and down stairs, and some- 
times to the State House (which is one eighth of a mile distant), 

1 For his speeches in the Convention see Vol. IX, pp. 590-602, and p. 607. 

" It is a curious coincidence that the policy of committing the legislative 
power of the country to two separate houses, which Dr. Franklin always op- 
posed, should, through his rare political genius, have become the one feature 
of the American Constitution which has more successfully than perhaps any 
other stood the test of nearly a century's experience. 

" Franklin also supported an article fixing the term of the Presidency at 
seven years but making the incumbent ineligible for a second term. He 
opposed vigorously a proposal to limit the suffrage to freeholders, as tending 
to lower the tone, spirit, and courage of the poorer classes. He favoured the 
clause giving to Congress the power of impeaching the President, without 
which he contended that the people would have no resource against a faith- 
less executive but revolution or assassination, remedies in most cases worse 
than the disease, and he advocated four years' residence of a foreigner as 
sufficient preparation for citizenship. It is not too much to say that to 
Franklin perhaps more than to any other one man, the present Constitution 
of the United States owes most of those features which have given it durability 
and have made it the ideal by which all other systems of government are 
tested by Americans." Bigelow, "The Life of Benjamin Franklin," Vol. Ill, 
P- 383- 


still retains his health, spirits and memory beyond all concep- 
tion insomuch that there are few transactions, subjects or pub- 
lications, ancient or modern, that are of any note but what 
he retains and when necessary in conversation will repeat 
and retain with wonderful facility. He bathes twice a week 
statedly (for hours) in a hot bath and, instead of relaxation, 
he enjoys and finds benefit from it." * 

Yet another reference to him at this time occurs in a letter 
to Dr. Price from Benjamin Rush (June 2, 1787). "Dr. 
Franklin exhibits daily a spectacle of transcendent benevo- 
lence by attending the Convention punctually and even taking 
part in its business and deliberations. He says it is the most 
august and respectable Assembly he ever was in in his life, 
and adds that he thinks they will soon finish their business 
as there are no prejudices to oppose, nor errors to refute in any 
of the body." 2 

An interesting account of Franklin as he appeared at this 
time is found in the Diary of Manasseh Cutler of Hamilton, 
Massachusetts, clergyman, scholar, and botanist. 

"July I3/&, 1787. Dr. Franklin lives in Market Street. 
His house stands up a court, at some distance from the street. 
We found him in his garden, sitting upon a grass-plot, under 
a very large mulberry-tree, with several other gentlemen and 
two or three ladies. When Mr. Gerry introduced me, he 
rose from his chair, took me by the hand, expressed his joy 
at seeing me, welcomed me to the city, and begged me to seat 
myself close to him. His voice was low, but his countenance 
was open, frank, and pleasing. I delivered to him my letters. 
After he had read them, he took me again by the hand, and, 

1 In Price Papers, Mass. Hist. Soc., May, 1903. 2 Ibid. 


with the usual compliments, introduced me to the other gentle- 
men, who are most of them members of the Convention. 

"Here we entered into a free conversation, and spent our 
time most agreeably, until it was quite dark. The tea-table 
was spread under the tree, and Mrs. Bache, who is the only 
daughter of the Doctor, and lives with him, served it out to 
the company. She had three of her children about her. 
They seemed to be excessively fond of their grandpapa. The 
Doctor showed me a curiosity he had just received, and with 
which he was much pleased. It was a snake with two heads, 
preserved in a large phial. It was taken from the confluence 
of the Schuylkill with the Delaware, about four miles from this 
city. It was about ten inches long, well-proportioned, the 
heads perfect, and united to the body about one-fourth of an 
inch below the extremities of the jaws. The snake was of a 
dark brown, approaching to black, and the back beautifully 
speckled with white. The belly was rather checkered with a 
reddish colour and white. The Doctor supposed it to be full 
grown, which I think is probable ; and he thinks it must be a 
sui generis of that class of animals. He grounds his opinion 
of its not being an extraordinary production, but a distinct 
genus, on the perfect form of the snake, the probability 
of its being of some age and there having been found a snake 
entirely similar (of which the Doctor has a drawing, which he 
showed us) near Lake Champlain, in the time of the late 
war. He mentioned the situation of this snake, if it was trav- 
elling among bushes, and one head should choose to go on one 
side of the stem of a bush, and the other head should prefer 
the other side, and neither of the heads would consent to come 
back, or give way to the other. He was then going to mention 
a humorous matter, that had that day occurred in the Con- 


vention, in consequence of his comparing the snake to 
America; for he seemed to forget that every thing in the 
Convention was to be kept a profound secret. But the se- 
crecy of the Convention matters was suggested to him, which 
stopped him, and deprived me of the story he was going to tell. 
" After it was dark we went into the house, and he invited 
me into his library, which is likewise his study. It is a very 
large chamber, and high-studded. The walls are covered with 
book-shelves, filled with books ; besides these there are four 
large alcoves, extending two-thirds the length of the chamber, 
filled in the same manner. I presume this is the largest and by 
far the best private library in America. He showed us a glass 
machine for exhibiting the circulation of the blood in the 
arteries and veins of the human body. The circulation is ex- 
hibited by the passing of a red fluid from a reservoir into nu- 
merous capillary tubes of glass, ramified in every direction, 
and then returning in similar tubes to the reservoir, which 
was done with great velocity, without any power to act visibly 
upon the fluid, and had the appearance of perpetual motion. 
Another great curiosity was a rolling-press, for taking the 
copies of letters or any other writing. A sheet of paper is 
completely copied in less than two minutes ; the copy as fair 
as the original, and without defacing it in the smallest degree. 
It is an invention of his own, extremely useful in many 
situations of life. He also showed us his long, artificial arm 
and hand, for taking down and putting up books on high 
shelves, which are out of reach ; and his great arm-chair, with 
rockers, and a large fan placed over it, with which he fans 
himself, keeps off the flies, &c., while he sits reading, with only 
a small motion of the foot ; and many other curiosities and 
inventions, all his own, but of lesser note. Over his mantel he 


has a prodigious number of medals, busts, and casts in wax, 
or plaster of Paris, which are the effigies of the most noted 
characters in Europe. 

" But what the Doctor wished principally to show me was a 
huge volume on botany, which indeed afforded me the greatest 
pleasure of any one thing in his library. It was a single 
volume, but so large, that it was with great difficulty that he 
was able to raise it from a low shelf, and lift it on the table. 
But, with that senile ambition, which is common to old 
people, he insisted on doing it himself, and would permit no 
person to assist him, merely to show us how much strength 
he had remaining. It contained the whole of Linnaeus's 
Systema Vegetabilium, with large cuts of every plant, coloured 
from nature. It was a feast to me, and the Doctor seemed 
to enjoy it as well as myself. We spent a couple of hours in 
examining this volume, while other gentlemen amused them- 
selves with other matters. The Doctor is not a botanist, but 
lamented he did not in early life attend to this science. He 
delights in Natural History, and expressed an earnest wish, 
that I should pursue the plan that I had begun, and hoped this 
science, so much neglected in America, would be pursued with 
as much ardour here as it is now hi every part of Europe. 
I wanted, for three months at least, to have devoted myself 
entirely to this one volume; but, fearing lest I should be 
tedious to him, I shut up the volume, though he urged me to 
examine it longer. 

" He seemed extremely fond, through the course of the visit, 
of dwelling on philosophical subjects, and particularly that of 
Natural History ; while the other gentlemen were swallowed up 
with politics. This was a favourable circumstance for me ; 
for almost the whole of his conversation was addressed to me, 

VOL. X 21 


and I was highly delighted with the extensive knowledge he 
appeared to have of every subject, the brightness of his mem- 
ory, and clearness and vivacity of all his mental faculties, not- 
withstanding his age. His manners are perfectly easy, and 
everything about him seems to diffuse an unrestrained freedom 
and happiness. He has an incessant vein of humour, accom- 
panied with an uncommon vivacity, which seemed as natural 
and involuntary as his breathing. He urged me to call on 
him again, but my short stay would not permit. We took 
our leave at ten, and I retired to my lodgings." 

The town of Franklin, Massachusetts, was set off from 
Wrentham in 1778 by a legislative act, and was the first of the 
thirty or more towns to take Franklin's name. To the town 
Franklin presented a library selected by Dr. Price. Rev. 
Nathaniel Emmons celebrated the event by preaching a ser- 
mon from the text, "Show thyself a man." The sermon was 
dedicated "To his excellency Benjamin Franklin, President 
of the State of Pennsylvania; the Ornament of Genius, the 
Patron of Science and the Boast of Man; this discourse is 
inscribed with the greatest Deference, Humility and Grati- 
tude, by his obliged and most humble Servant, the Author." l 

1 The following, in A. P. S., is the letter of acceptance from the Town 
Committee : 

Franklin June 22* 1786. 

We beg leave to present to your Excellency, our most grateful Acknow- 
ledgments, for the very handsome Parish Library, which you have been 
pleased to bestow upon the Minister and the Parishioners of this Town, as a 
particular mark of your approbation and regard. This choice and valuable 
Collection of Books, your Excellency will permit us to say, not only flatters 
our Understanding and Taste, but displays the brightest feature in your great 
and amiable Character. We only regret, that modesty should deny us the 
celebrated Productions of the greatest Philosopher and Politician in America. 


According to James Parton there was no state in the Union 
in 1864 which had not at least one town named Franklin. 
Ohio had nineteen. Twenty states had a Franklin County, 
and the name occurred then one hundred and thirty-six times 
upon the map. For a short time we had a state of Franklin. 
The history of that state afterward called Tennessee is given 
in a letter to Franklin from William Cocke. 

State of Franklin 15 th June 1786. 


I make no doubt but You have heard that the good People 
of this Country have declared themselves a Separate State 
from North Carolina, and as a Testimony of the High 
Esteem they have for the many Important and Faithfull 
Services You have Rendered Your Country, to Commemorate 
You, they have Call'd the Name of their State after You. 
I presume You have also heard the reasons on which our 
Separation is founded. Some of which are as follows that 
North Carolina had Granted us a Separation on Certain 
well known Conditions, Express'd in an Act, of the General 
Assembly of that State, which Conditions we think She Had 
no right to break through without our Consent as well as 

Since Providence hitherto hath delighted to smile on all your great and noble 
Efforts, we cannot but hope, your generous exertion to diffuse useful and 
divine Knowledge among us, will be productive of the] happiest effects, and 
completely answer your warmest wishes. May all the seeds of Science, which 
you have sown in this, and various other parts of the world, grow up into a 
living Laurel, to adorn your illustrious Head in the Temple of Fame. And, 
in the meantime, may the sincere and affectionate Esteem of this Town, as 
well as the accumulated Honours, which You have merited and received from 
the united Republics of Liberty and of Letters, serve to smooth the last 
Passages of your eminently useful and important Life. 
We have the honour to be, etc 



the Consent of Congress. We therefore determine Strictly 
to adhear to the Conditions, and Every of them Express'd 
in Said Act and Doubt not but Congress will be uniform hi 
her Just Demands, as well as Honorable In Complying with 
her resolve to Confirm all the Just Claims of such Persons 
who have purchased Land under the Laws of North Carolina, 
for which they have paid that State. The Confidence we 
have in the wisdom and Justice of the United States Incline 
us to wish Every Matter of dispute to their Decision, and I 
am Expressly Impowered and commanded to give the 
United States Full Assurance that we Shall Act in Obedience 
to her Determination provided North Carolina will Consent, 
that they shall become the Arbiters. I had set out with the 
Intention to weiht on Congress to discharge the Duties 
of the Trust reposed in me But am Inform'd that Con- 
gress will adjourn about the last of this Month, & shall 
thank You to be so kind as to favour me, with a few Lines by 
the Bearer M Rogers to inform me, when Congress will 
meet again, and shall Be happy to have Your Political Senti- 
ments & advice on so Important a Subject should it be 
Consistant with Y r Pleasure. I have the Honour to be 
with Great Esteem. 

Your most obeid* Hble Servt. 


The further history of the state was told to Franklin by 
John Sevier. 

State of Franklin, Mount Pleasant, 
9 April, 1787. 


Permit me to introduce to your Excellency the subject of 
our new disputed government. In the year 1784, in the 


month of June, the legislature of North Carolina ceded to 
Congress all their claim to the lands west of the Appalachian 
Mountains, on conditions I make no doubt you are acquainted 
with, as the act was shortly after laid before Congress. The 
inhabitants of this country, well knowing that the Congress 
of the United States would accept the cession, and having no 
idea that North Carolina would attempt repealing the act, 
formed themselves into a separate and independent State by 
the name of Franklin. 

In November following, North Carolina repealed this act 
of cession. In May, 1785, Congress took the several acts 
under their consideration, and entered into resolves respect- 
ing the same, the purport of which, I presume, you are 
acquainted with. The government of Franklin was carried 
on unmolested by North Carolina, until November, 1785, 
when that legislature passed an act, allowing the people in 
some of our counties to hold elections under certain regula- 
tions unknown to any former law; whereby a few, from 
disaffection and disappointment, might have it in their power 
to elect persons, who were to be considered the legal delega- 
tion of the people. This was done and countenanced ; and 
at their last session, in November, 1786, they have under- 
taken to reassume their jurisdiction and sovereignty over 
the State of Franklin, notwithstanding the whole of their 
adherents do hot exceed two or three hundred against a 
majority of at least seven thousand effective militia. They 
have, contrary to the interest of the people in two of the 
counties, to wit, Washington and Sullivan, by their acts re- 
moved the former places of holding courts to certain places 
convenient to the disaffected, as we conceive, in order that 
they might have a pretext to prevaricate upon. 


I have thus given your Excellency the outlines of our past 
and present situation, and beg leave to inform you, that, from 
your known patriotic and benevolent disposition, as also your 
great experience and wisdom, I am, by and with the advice 
of our Council of State, induced to make this application, 
that, should you, from this simple statement of the several 
occurrences, think our cause so laudable, as to give us your 
approbation, you would be pleased to condescend to write 
on the subject. And any advice, instruction, or encourage- 
ment, you may think we shall deserve, will be acknowledged 
in the most grateful manner. 

We have been informed, that your Excellency some time 
since did us the honour to write to us on the subject of our 
State ; if so, unfortunately for us, the letters have miscarried, 
and are not come to hand. Many safe conveyances might 
be had. A letter may be sent by the bearer, Captain John 
Woods, if he should return by the way of Franklin ; or, if it 
were directed to the care of the Governor of Georgia, it 
would come safe; and perhaps by a number of people who 
travel to this country. I have the honour to be, Sir, &c. 


After serving three years as president, Franklin renounced 
all public business. The Philosophical Society and the 
Society for Political Inquiries met at his house. He set up 
his grandson, Benjamin Franklin Bache, in the printing busi- 
ness, and built and furnished a printing-house for him 
which was managed under his direct supervision. Although 
afflicted with almost constant and grievous pain, he declared 
that if he were allowed to live his life over again, he should 
make no objection, only wishing for leave to do what 


authors do in a second edition of their works, correct some 
of his errata. "For my own personal ease," he told Wash- 
ington (September 21, 1789), "I should have died two years 
ago." To relieve his suffering he had recourse to opium, 
which so impeded his appetite and digestion that he became 
totally emaciated; "little remains of me," he wrote to Le 
Veillard, "but a skeleton covered with a skin." Neverthe- 
less he is known to have said that he looked upon all the 
griefs and sufferings of the world but as the momentary 
pricking of a pin hi comparison with the total happiness of 
our existence. 

Reports of his death were frequently circulated, and 
Europe was led prematurely to believe that he had gone 
"Where Lycurgus, Solon, Numa and the elder Brutus had 
been long gone before him" (Pownall). In contradiction of 
these rumours, some who were with him in the Convention 
told John Jay that the steel was not worn off yet and that 
Franklin had as good an edge as ever. 

Sir Edward Newenham wrote to Lord Charlemont, Decem- 
ber 31, 1789: "Knowing your Esteem for real patriots, I 
would not omit this opportunity of acquainting your lord- 
ship that I had a letter this day, dated the fifth of November 
from the venerable Franklin, at Philadelphia perhaps the 
last he will write to Europe. He says his malady, the stone 
and gravel, is heavy on him.; that dissolution would be ease 
to him. He very pathetically inquires how 'Charlemont, 
the general of the Irish Volunteers does,' and desires me to 
tell Mr. Deane (the Six Clerk) that he has broken his re- 
peated promise to him, of sending him the model of a com- 
mon country fish case. He says all is going on with proper 
caution for fixing an union between eleven of the States, 


that Carolina and Rhode Island must accede to the general 
union ; that Washington appears greater in the cabinet than 
(if possible) he did in the field. He says 'Your friend Wash- 
ington sigheth for a retreat to his farm, and more particularly 
so, as the main points of a general union are fixed; that 
Irish traders are preferred to any nation.' And now, my 
dear Lord, observe his, perhaps, last words: 'Let your 
nation sign a speedy commercial treaty with the States and 
you may in future monopolize some branches of trade, but 
nothing can be done without a treaty and appointing a 
consul.' " l 

The last account of him is contained in a letter from 
Jefferson to M. le Veillard, New York, April 5, 1790. "I 
wish I could add to your happiness by giving you a favour- 
able account of the good old Doctor. I found him in bed 
where he remains almost constantly. He had been clear of 
pain for some days and was chearful and in good spirits. 
He listened with a glow of interest to the details of your 
revolution and of his friends which I gave him. He is much 
emaciated. I pressed him to continue the narration of his 
life and perhaps he will. Present me respectfully to Madame 
le Veillard, and be assured yourself of the sentiments of 
sincere esteem and affection with which I have the honour 
to be, dear Sir, etc. Th. Jefferson." 

The last news that came to Franklin from the Old World 
related to the assembling of the States General, the theft of 
the diamond necklace, and the ominous gloom of the coming 

1 Hist. Mss. Comm.; I3th Rep. App. Pt. VIII; The Mss. and Correspond- 
ence of James, First Earl of Charlemont, 1894. The tantalizing fragments 
of quotations from Franklin's letter deepen our regret at the loss or 
destruction of his voluminous and confidential correspondence with New- 


Revolution. He was made aware of the disruption of an- 
cient amities among those who had been his beloved asso- 
ciates in politics and society, but happily he died too soon 
to witness the awful havoc wrought in the wild tumult of the 
Revolution when Le Veillard perished upon the Revolutionary 
scaffold, Lavoisier by the axe of the guillotine, and Con- 
dorcet died of poison upon a prison floor. 

Sixteen days before his death he was seized with a fever- 
ish indisposition. After ten days all pain left him, when 
an aposthume in his lungs suddenly burst and discharged 
a great quantity of matter ; l lethargy succeeded and on the 
i yth of April, 1790, about eleven o'clock at night he died. 

He was buried April 21 at four o'clock in Christ Church 
burial-ground. At the head of the funeral procession walked 
the clergy of Philadelphia. Next came the chief members 
of the state government and the members of the Legislature, 
the Judges of the courts, members of the bar, the Mayor and 
the Councils of the city, the printers and their apprentices, 
The American Philosophical Society, and the College of 
Physicians, and many trade and benevolent societies. The 
pall-bearers were Samuel Powell (Mayor), William Bingham, 
Thomas Willing, David Rittenhouse, Thomas McKean, 
(chief justice of Pennsylvania), and Thomas Mifflin 
governor of the state. Twenty thousand persons followed 
the body to its burial. 

Dr. Rush wrote to Dr. Price: "The papers will inform 
you of the death of our late friend Dr. Franklin. The 
evening of his life was marked by the same activity of his 

1 In 1735 Franklin had pleurisy which terminated in an abscess of the left 
lobe of the lungs, and he was then almost suffocated with the quantity and 
suddenness of the discharge. 


moral and intellectual powers which distinguished its me- 
ridian. His conversation with his family upon the subject 
of his dissolution was free and cheerful. A few days before 
he died, he rose from his bed and begged that it might be 
made up for him so that he might die in a decent manner. 
His daughter told him that she hoped he would recover and 
live many years longer. He calmly replied, '/ hope not.' 
Upon being advised to change his position in bed, that he 
might breathe easy, he said, 'A dying man can do nothing 
easy.' All orders and bodies of people have vied with each 
other in paying tributes of respect to his memory." 

Dr. William Smith, Provost of the College of Philadelphia, 
was appointed by The American Philosophical Society to 
deliver a eulogy upon its founder. Ezra Stiles, President of 
Yale College, ordered a commemorative eulogy by one 
of the orators at the next Commencement, and himself 
delivered a Latin address. 

On motion of James Madison, it was unanimously resolved 
by Congress, then in session at New York, "that the mem- 
bers wear the customary badge of mourning for one month." 
On the nth of June, the morning after the news reached 
Paris, Mirabeau addressed the National Assembly in words 
which have become historic and immortal. 

La Rochefoucauld and Lafayette rose to second the 
motion which was adopted by acclamation. It was decreed 
that Mirabeau's discourse should be printed, and that the 
President of the Assembly, Abbe* Sieyes, should address a 
letter of condolence to the Congress. In accordance with 
his instructions Sieyes wrote : 

"The name of Benjamin Franklin will be immortal in the 
records of freedom and philosophy ; but it is more particularly 


dear to a country, where, conducted by the most sublime 
mission, this venerable man knew how very soon to acquire 
an infinite number of friends and admirers, as well by the 
simplicity and sweetness of his manners, as by the purity of 
his principles, the extent of his knowledge, and the charms 
of his mind. 

"It will be remembered, that every success, which he ob- 
tained in his important negotiation, was applauded and 
celebrated (so to express it) all over France, as so many 
crowns conferred on genius and virtue. 

"Even then the sentiment of our rights existed in the 
bottom of our souls. It was easily perceived, that it feelingly 
mingled in the interest which we took in behalf of America, 
and in the public vows which we preferred for your liberty. 

"At last the hour of the French has arrived; we love 
to think, that the citizens of the United States have not re- 
garded with indifference our steps towards liberty. Twenty- 
six millions of men breaking their chains, and seriously 
occupied in giving themselves a durable constitution, are not 
unworthy of the esteem of a generous people, who have 
preceded them in that noble career. 

"We hope they will learn with interest the funeral homage, 
which we have rendered to the Nestor of America. May 
this solemn act of fraternal friendship serve more and more 
to bind the tie, which ought to unite two free nations ! May 
the common enjoyment of liberty shed itself over the whole 
globe, and become an indissoluble chain of connexion among 
all the people of the earth ! For ought they not to perceive, 
that they will march more steadfastly and more certainly to 
their true happiness, in understanding and loving each other, 
than in being jealous and fighting ? 


"May the Congress of the United States and the National 
Assembly of France be the first to furnish this fine spectacle 
to the world ! And may the individuals of the two nations 
connect themselves by a mutual affection, worthy of the 
friendship which unites the two men, at this day most il- 
lustrious by their exertions for liberty, WASHINGTON and 

The Congress of the United States at the third session 
begun and held at the city of Philadelphia on Monday the 
6th of December, 1790, passed the following resolution: 
"That the President of the United States be requested to 
cause to be communicated to the National Assembly of 
France the peculiar sensibility of Congress to the tribute 
paid to the memory of Benjamin Franklin by the enlightened 
and free representatives of a great nation, in their decrees 
of the nth of June, 1790." * 

La Rochefoucauld read a paper on the life and character 
of Franklin before the "Society of 1789." 2 The Commune 
of Paris ordered a public celebration in honour of the memory 
of Franklin, and the Abbe" Fauchet pronounced the eulogium 
in the presence of a great crowd hi the rotunda of the Grain 

Condorcet delivered an "Eloge de Franklin," before the 
Academy of Sciences, November 13, 1790. Madame 

1 This resolution signed by F. A. Muhlenberg, Speaker of the House of 
Representatives, and by John Adams, Vice-President of the United States 
and president of the Senate, was approved by President Washington, March 2, 

2 After this address M. de Liancourt moved that the Society wear mourn- 
ing, and that the bust of Franklin be placed in the hall of the Assembly with 
the inscription " Hommage rendu par le Vceu unanime de la Societe de 1789 a 
Benjamin Franklin, objet de 1'admiration et des Regrets des Amis de la 


Campan, in her Mdmoires (Tome I. p. 233), mentions a 
curious feature of these commemorative ceremonies partici- 
pated in by the printers. They assembled in a large hall, in 
which there was a column surmounted by a bust of Franklin, 
with a civic crown. Below the bust were arrayed printers' 
cases and types, with a press, and all the apparatus of the 
art, which the philosopher had practised with such dis- 
tinguished success. While one of the fraternity pronounced 
a eulogy on Franklin, several printers were employed in 
composing it at the cases; and, as soon as it was finished, 
impressions of it were taken, and distributed to the large 
concourse of people, who had been drawn together as specta- 
tors of the ceremony. 



I, BENJAMIN FRANKLIN, of Philadelphia, printer, late 
Minister Plenipotentiary from the United States of America 
to the Court of France, now President of the State of Penn- 
sylvania, do make and declare my last will and testament as 
follows : 

To my son, William Franklin, late Governor of the Jerseys, 
I give and devise all the lands I hold or have a right to, in 
the province of Nova Scotia, to hold to him, his heirs, and 
assigns forever. I also give to him all my books and papers, 
which he has in his possession, and all debts standing against 
him on my account books, willing that no payment for, nor 
restitution of, the same be required of him, by my executors. 


The part he acted against me in the late war, which is of 
public notoriety, will account for my leaving him no more of 
an estate he endeavoured to deprive me of. 

Having since my return from France demolished the three 
houses in Market Street, between Third and Fourth Streets, 
fronting my dwelling-house, and erected two new and larger 
ones on the ground, and having also erected another house 
on the lot which formerly was the passage to my dwelling, 
and also a printing-office between my dwelling and the front 
houses; now I do give and devise my said dwelling-house, 
wherein I now live, my said three new houses, my printing- 
office and the lots of ground thereto belonging; also my 
small lot and house in Sixth Street, which I bought of the 
widow Henmarsh ; also my pasture-ground which I have hi 
Hickory Lane, with the buildings thereon; also my house 
and lot on the north side of Market Street, now occupied by 
Mary Jacobs, together with two houses and lots behind the 
same, and fronting on Pewter- Platter Alley; also my lot of 
ground in Arch Street, opposite the church burying-ground, 
with the buildings thereon erected ; also all my silver plate, 
pictures, and household goods, of every kind, now in my 
said dwelling-house, to my daughter, Sarah Bache, and to 
her husband, Richard Bache, to hold to them for and during 
their natural lives, and the life of the longest liver of them, 
and from and after the decease of the survivor of them, I do 
give, devise, and bequeath to all children already born, or to 
be bom of my said daughter, and to their heirs and assigns 
forever, as tenants hi common, and not as joint tenants. 

And, if any or either of them shall happen to die under 
age, and without issue, the part and share of him, her, or 
them, so dying, shall go to and be equally divided among 


the survivors or survivor of them. But my intention is, 
that, if any or either of them should happen to die under 
age, leaving issue, such issue shall inherit the part and share 
that would have passed to his, her, or their parent, had he, 
she, or they been living. 

And, as some of my said devisees may, at the death of the 
survivor of their father or mother, be of age, and others of 
them under age, so as that all of them may not be of capacity 
to make division, I in that case request and authorize the 
judges of the Supreme Court of Judicature of Pennsylvania 
for the time being, or any three of them, not personally in- 
terested, to appoint by writing, under their hands and seals, 
three honest, intelligent, impartial men to make the said 
division, and to assign and allot to each of my devisees their 
respective share, which division, so made and committed to 
writing under the hands and seals of the said three men, or 
of any two of them, and confirmed by the said judges, I do 
hereby declare shall be binding on, and conclusive between 
the said devisees. 

All the lands near the Ohio, and the lots near the centre of 
Philadelphia, which I lately purchased of the State, I give 
to my son-in-law, Richard Bache, his heirs and assigns for- 
ever; I also give him the bond I have against him, of two 
thousand and one hundred and seventy-two pounds, five 
shillings, together with the interest that shall or may accrue 
thereon, and direct the same to be delivered up to him by 
my executors, cancelled, requesting that, hi consideration 
thereof, he would immediately after my decease manumit 
and set free his negro man Bob. I leave to him, also, the 
money due to me from the State of Virginia for types. I also 
give to him the bond of William Goddard and his sister, and 


the counter bond of the late Robert Grace, and the bond 
and judgement of Francis Childs, if not recovered before my 

decease, or any other bonds, except the bond due from 

Killan, of Delaware State, which I give to my grandson, 
Benjamin Franklin Bache. I also discharge him, my said 
son-in-law, from all claim and rent of moneys due to me, 
on book account or otherwise. I also give him all my musical 

The king of France's picture, set with four hundred and 
eight diamonds, I give to my daughter, Sarah Bache, request- 
ing, however, that she would not form any of those diamonds 
into ornaments either for herself or daughters, and thereby 
introduce or countenance the expensive, vain, and useless 
fashion of wearing jewels in this country; and those imme- 
diately connected with the picture may be preserved with the 
same. 1 

I give and devise to my dear sister, Jane Mecom, a house 
and lot I have in Unity Street, Boston, now or late under the 
care of Mr. Jonathan Williams, to her and to her heirs and 
assigns for ever. I also give her the yearly sum of fifty pounds 
sterling, during life, to commence at my death, and to be 
paid to her annually out of the interests or dividends arising 
on twelve shares which I have since my arrival at Philadelphia 
purchased in the Bank of North America, and, at her decease, 
I give the said twelve shares in the bank to my daughter, 
Sarah Bache, and her husband, Richard Bache. But it is 
my express will and desire that, after the payment of the above 
fifty pounds sterling annually to my said sister, my said 
daughter be allowed to apply the residue of the interest or 

1 Mrs. Bache sold the outer circle of diamonds and upon the proceeds she 
and her husband made the tour of Europe. 


dividends on those shares to her sole and separate use, during 
the life of my said sister, and afterwards the whole of the 
interest or dividends thereof as her private pocket money. 

I give the right I have to take up three thousand acres of 
land in the State of Georgia, granted to me by the government 
of that State, to my grandson, 'William Temple Franklin, 
his heirs and assigns for ever. I also give to my grandson, 
William Temple Franklin, the bond and judgement I have 
against him of four thousand pounds sterling, my right to the 
same to cease upon the day of his marriage ; and if he dies 
unmarried, my will is, that the same be recovered and divided 
among my other grandchildren, the children of my daughter, 
Sarah Bache, in such manner and form as I have herein 
before given to them the other parts of my estate. 

The philosophical instruments I have in Philadelphia I 
give to my ingenious friend, Francis Hopkinson. 

To the children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren 
of my brother, Samuel Franklin, that may be living at the 
time of my decease, I give fifty pounds sterling, to be equally 
divided among them. To the children, grandchildren, and 
great-grandchildren of my sister, Anne Harris, that may be 
living at the time of my decease, I give fifty pounds sterling, 
to be equally divided among them. To the children, grand- 
children, and great-grandchildren of my brother, James 
Franklin, that may be living at the time of my decease, I give 
fifty pounds sterling, to be equally divided among them. 
To the children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren of 
my sister, Sarah Davenport, that may be living at the time of 
my decease, I give fifty pounds sterling to be equally divided 
among them. To the children, grandchildren, and great- 
grandchildren of my sister, Lydia Scott, that may be living at 

VOL. X 2 K 


the time of my decease, I give fifty pounds sterling, to be 
equally divided among them. To the children, grandchildren, 
and great-grandchildren of my sister, Jane Mecom, that may 
be living at the time of my decease, I give fifty pounds ster- 
ling, to be equally divided among them. 

I give to my grandson, Benjamin Franklin Bache, all the 
types and printing materials, which I now have in Philadel- 
phia, with the complete letter foundery, which, in the whole, 
I suppose to be worth near one thousand pounds ; but if he 
should die under age, then I do order the same to be sold by 
my executors, the survivors or survivor of them, and the 
moneys thence arising to be equally divided among all the 
rest of my said daughter's children, or their representatives, 
each one on coming of age to take his or her share, and the 
children of such of them as may die under age to represent, 
and to take the share and proportion of, the parent so dying, 
each one to receive his or her part of such share as they come 
of age. 

With regard to my books, those I had in France and those 
I left in Philadelphia, being now assembled together here, 
and a catalogue made of them, it is my intention to dispose 
of the same as follows: My "History of the Academy of 
Sciences," in sixty or seventy volumes quarto, I give to the 
Philosophical Society of Philadelphia, of which I have the 
honour to be President. My collection in folio of "Les Arts 
et les Metiers," I give to the American Philosophical Society, 
established in New England, of which I am a member. My 
quarto edition of the same, "Arts et Metiers," I give to the 
Library Company of Philadelphia. Such and so many of 
my books as I shall mark on the said catalogue with the 
name of my grandson, Benjamin Franklin Bache, I do hereby 


give to him; and such and so many of my books as I shall 
mark on the said catalogue with the name of my grandson, 
William Bache, I do hereby give to him ; and such as shall be 
marked with the name of Jonathan Williams, I hereby give 
to my cousin of that name. The residue and remainder of all 
my books, manuscripts, and papers, I do give to my grand- 
son, William Temple Franklin. My share in the Library 
Company of Philadelphia, I give to my grandson, Benjamin 
Franklin Bache, confiding that he will permit his brothers 
and sisters to share in the use of it. 

I was bom in Boston, New England, and owe my first 
instructions in literature to the free grammar-schools estab- 
lished there. I therefore give one hundred pounds sterling 
to my executors, to be by them, the survivors or survivor 
of them, paid over to the managers or directors of the free 
schools in my native town of Boston, to be by them, or by 
those person or persons, who shall have the superintendence 
and management of the said schools, put out to interest, and 
so continued at interest for ever, which interest annually 
shall be kid out in silver medals, and given as honourary 
rewards annually by the directors of the said free schools 
belonging to the said town, in such manner as to the dis- 
cretion of the selectmen of the said town shall seem meet. 

Out of the salary that may remain due to me as President 
of the State, I do give the sum of two thousand pounds to my 
executors, to be by them, the survivors or survivor of them, 
paid over to such person or persons as the legislature of this 
State by an act of Assembly shall appoint to receive the same 
in trust, to be employed for making the river Schuylkill 

And what money of mine shall, at the time of my decease, 


remain in the hands of my bankers, Messrs. Ferdinand Grand 
and Son, at Paris, or Messrs. Smith, Wright, and Gray, of 
London, I will that, after my debts are paid and deducted, 
with the money legacies of this my will, the same be divided 
into four equal parts, two of which I give to my dear daughter, 
Sarah Bache, one to her son Benjamin, and one to my grand- 
son, William Temple Franklin. 

During the number of years I was in business as a stationer, 
printer, and postmaster, a great many small sums became 
due for books, advertisements, postage of letters, and other 
matters, which were not collected when, in 1757, I was sent 
by the Assembly to England as their agent, and by subsequent 
appointments continued there till 1775, when on my return, 
I was immediately engaged in the affairs of Congress, and 
sent to France in 1776, where I remained nine years, not re- 
turning till 1785: and the said debts, not being demanded 
in such a length of time, are become hi a manner obsolete, yet 
are nevertheless justly due. These, as they are stated in 
my great folio ledger E, I bequeath to the contributors to the 
Pennsylvania Hospital, hoping that those debtors, and the 
descendants of such as are deceased, who now, as I find, 
make some difficulty of satisfying such antiquated demands 
as just debts, may, however, be induced to pay or give them 
as charity to that excellent institution. I am sensible that 
much must inevitably be lost, but I hope something consider- 
able may be recovered. It is possible, too, that some of the 
parties charged may have existing old, unsettled accounts 
against me ; hi which case the managers of the said hospital 
will allow and deduct the amount, or pay the balance if they 
find it against me. 

My debts and legacies being all satisfied and paid, the rest 


and residue of all my estate, real and personal, not herein 
expressly disposed of, I do give and bequeath to my son and 
daughter, Richard and Sarah Bache. 

I request my friends, Henry Hill, Esquire, John Jay, 
Esquire, Francis Hopkinson, Esquire, and Mr. Edward 
Duffield, of Benfield, in Philadelphia County, to be the 
executors of this my last will and testament; and I hereby 
nominate and appoint them for that purpose. 

I would have my body buried with as little expense or 
ceremony as may be. I revoke all former wills by me made, 
declaring this only to be my last. 

In witness thereof, I have hereunto set my 
hand and seal, this seventeenth day of 
[SEAL.] July, in the year of our Lord one thou- 

sand seven hundred and eighty-eight. 

Signed, sealed, published, and declared by the above- 
named Benjamin Franklin, for and as his last will and testa- 
ment, in the presence of us. 





I, Benjamin Franklin, in the foregoing or annexed last will 
and testament named, having further considered the same, do 
think proper to make and publish the following codicil or 
addition thereto. 

It having long been a fixed political opinion of mine, that in 
a democratical state there ought to be no offices of profit, for 


the reasons I had given in an article of my drawing in our 
constitution, it was my intention when I accepted the office 
of President, to devote the appointed salary to some public 
uses. Accordingly, I had already, before I made my will 
in July last, given large sums of it to colleges, schools, build- 
ing of churches, etc. ; and in that will I bequeathed two thou- 
sand pounds more to the State for the purpose of making the 
Schuylkill navigable. But understanding since that such a 
sum will do but little towards accomplishing such a work, 
and that the project is not likely to be undertaken for many 
years to come, and having entertained another idea, that I 
hope may be more extensively useful, I do hereby revoke and 
annul that bequest, and direct that the certificates I have 
for what remains due to me of that salary be sold, towards 
raising the sum of two thousand pounds sterling, to be dis- 
posed of as I am now about to order. 

It has been an opinion, that he who receives an estate from 
his ancestors is under some kind of obligation to transmit the 
same to their posterity. This obligation does not lie on me, 
who never inherited a shilling from any ancestor or relation. 
I shall, however, if it is not diminished by some accident 
before my death, leave a considerable estate among my 
descendants and relations. The above observation is made 
merely as some apology to my family for making bequests 
that do not appear to have any immediate relation to their 

I was born in Boston, New England, and owe my first 
instructions in literature to the free grammar-schools estab- 
lished there. I have, therefore, already considered these 
schools in my will. But I am also under obligations to the 
State of Massachusetts for having, unasked, appointed me 


formerly their agent in England, with a handsome salary, 
which continued some years; and although I accidentally 
lost in their service, by transmitting Governor Hutchinson's 
letters, much more than the amount of what they gave 
me, I do not think that ought in the least to diminish my 

I have considered that, among artisans, good apprentices 
are most likely to make good citizens, and, having myself 
been bred to a manual art, printing, in my native town, and 
afterwards assisted to set up my business hi Philadelphia by 
kind loans of money from two friends there, which was the 
foundation of my fortune, and of all the utility in lif e that may 
be ascribed to me, I wish to be useful even after my death, if 
possible, hi forming and advancing other young men, that 
may be serviceable to their country hi both these towns. 
To this end, I devote two thousand pounds sterling, of which 
I give one thousand thereof to the inhabitants of the town of 
Boston, in Massachusetts, and the other thousand to the 
inhabitants of the city of Philadelphia, in trust, to and for 
the uses, intents, and purposes hereinafter mentioned and 

The said sum of one thousand pounds sterling, if accepted 
by the inhabitants of the town of Boston, shall be managed 
under the direction of the selectmen, united with the ministers 
of the oldest Episcopalian, Congregational, and Presbyterian 
churches hi that town, who are to let out the sum upon interest, 
at five per cent, per annum, to such young married artificers, 
under the age of twenty-five years, as have served an appren- 
ticeship in the said town, and faithfully fulfilled the duties 
required hi their indentures, so as to obtain a good moral 
character from at least two respectable citizens, who are 


willing to become their sureties, in a bond with the applicants, 
for the repayment of the moneys so lent, with interest, accord- 
ing to the terms hereinafter prescribed ; all which bonds are 
to be taken for Spanish milled dollars, or the value thereof in 
current gold com ; and the managers shall keep a bound book 
or books, wherein shall be entered the names of those who 
shall apply for and receive the benefits of this institution, and 
of their sureties, together with the sums lent, the dates, and 
other necessary and proper records respecting the business 
and concerns of this institution. And as these loans are in- 
tended to assist young married artificers in setting up their 
business, they are to be proportioned by the discretion of the 
managers, so as not to exceed sixty pounds sterling to one 
person, nor to be less than fifteen pounds ; and if the number 
of appliers so entitled should be so large as that the sum will 
not suffice to afford to each as much as might otherwise not 
be improper, the proportion to each shall be diminished so 
as to afford to every one some assistance. These aids may, 
therefore, be small at first, but, as the capital increases by 
the accumulated interest, they will be more ample. And in 
order to serve as many as possible in their turn, as well as to 
make the repayment of the principal borrowed more easy, 
each borrower shall be obliged to pay, with the yearly interest, 
one tenth part of the principal, which sums of principal 
and interest, so paid in, shall be again let out to fresh 

And, as it is presumed that there will always be found in 
Boston virtuous and benevolent citizens, willing to bestow 
a part of their time in doing good to the rising generation, by 
superintending and managing this institution gratis, it is 
hoped that no part of the money will at any time be dead, or 


be diverted to other purposes, but be continually augmenting 
by the interest; in which case there may, in time, be more 
than the occasions in Boston shall require, and then some 
may be spared to the neighbouring or other towns in the said 
State of Massachusetts, who may desire to have it; such 
towns engaging to pay punctually the interest and the por- 
tions of the principal, annually, to the inhabitants of the town 
of Boston. 

If this plan is executed, and succeeds as projected without 
interruption for one hundred years, the sum will then be 
one hundred and thirty-one thousand pounds; of which I 
would have the managers of the donation to the town of Bos- 
ton then lay out, at their discretion, one hundred thousand 
pounds in public works, which may be judged of most general 
utility to the inhabitants, such as fortifications, bridges, aque- 
ducts, public buildings, baths, pavements, or whatever may 
make living in the town more convenient to its people, and 
render it more agreeable to strangers resorting thither for 
health or a temporary residence. The remaining thirty-one 
thousand pounds I would have continued to be let out on 
interest, hi the manner above directed, for another hundred 
years, as I hope it will have been found that the institution has 
had a good effect on the conduct of youth, and been of service 
to many worthy characters and useful citizens. At the end 
of this second term, if no unfortunate accident has prevented 
the operation, the sum will be four millions and sixty one 
thousand pounds sterling, of which I leave one million sixty 
one thousand pounds to the disposition of the inhabitants of 
the town of Boston, and three millions to the disposition of 
the government of the state, not presuming to carry my 
views farther. 


All the directions herein given, respecting the disposition 
and management of the donation to the inhabitants of Boston, 
I would have observed respecting that to the inhabitants of 
Philadelphia, only, as Philadelphia is incorporated, I request 
the corporation of that city to undertake the management 
agreeably to the said directions ; and I do hereby vest them 
with full and ample powers for that purpose. And, having 
considered that the covering a ground plot with buildings and 
pavements, which carry off most of the rain and prevent its 
soaking into the Earth and renewing and purifying the Springs, 
whence the water of wells must gradually grow worse, and in 
time be unfit for use, as I find has happened hi all old cities, I 
recommend that at the end of the first hundred years, if not 
done before, the corporation of the city Employ a part of the 
hundred thousand pounds in bringing, by pipes, the water of 
Wissahickon Creek into the town, so as to supply the inhab- 
itants, which I apprehend may be done without great diffi- 
culty, the level of the creek being much above that of the city, 
and may be made higher by a dam. I also recommend mak- 
ing the Schuylkill completely navigable. At the end of the 
second hundred years, I would have the disposition of the 
four million and sixty one thousand pounds divided between 
the inhabitants of the city of Philadelphia and the govern- 
ment of Pennsylvania, in the same manner as herein directed 
with respect to that of the inhabitants of Boston and the 
government of Massachusetts. 

It is my desire that this institution should take place and 
begin to operate within one year after my decease, for which 
purpose due notice should be publickly given previous to the 
expiration of that year, that those for whose benefit this 
establishment is intended may make their respective applica- 


tions. And I hereby direct my executors, the survivors or 
survivor of them, within six months after my decease, to pay 
over the said sum of two thousand pounds sterling to such 
persons as shall be duly appointed by the Selectmen of Boston 
and the corporation of Philadelphia, to receive and take 
charge of their respective sums, of one thousand pounds 
each, for the purposes aforesaid. 

Considering the accidents to which all human affairs and 
projects are subject in such a length of time, I have, perhaps, 
too much flattered myself with a vain fancy that these dis- 
positions, if carried into execution, will be continued with- 
out interruption and have the effects proposed. I hope, 
however, that if the inhabitants of the two cities should not 
think fit to undertake the execution, they will, at least, accept 
the offer of these donations as a mark of my good will, a 
token of my gratitude, and a testimony of my earnest desire 
to be useful to them after my departure. 

I wish, indeed, that they may both undertake to endeavour 
the execution of the project, because I think that, though 
unforeseen difficulties may arise, expedients will be found to 
remove them, and the scheme be found practicable. If one 
of them accepts the money, with the conditions, and the 
other refuses, my will then is, that both Sums be given to the 
inhabitants of the city accepting the whole, to be applied to 
the same purposes, and under the same regulations directed 
for the separate parts; and, if both refuse, the money of 
course remains in the mass of my Estate, and is to be disposed 
of therewith according to my will made the Seventeenth day 
of July, 1788. 

I wish to be buried by the side of my wife, if it may be, and 
that a marble stone, to be made by Chambers, six feet long, 


four feet wide, plain, with only a small moulding round the 
upper edge, and this inscription : 
Benjamin "j 

And > Franklin 
Deborah J 


to be placed over us both. My fine crab-tree walking-stick, 
with a gold head curiously wrought in the form of the cap of 
liberty, I give to my friend, and the friend of mankind, General 
Washington. If it were a Sceptre, he has merited it, and 
would become it. It was a present to me from that excellent 
woman, Madame de Forbach, the dowager Duchess of 
Deux-Ponts, connected with some verses which should go 
with it. I give my gold watch to my son-in-law, Richard 
Bache, and also the gold watch chain of the Thirteen United 
States, which I have not yet worn. My timepiece, that 
stands in my library, I give to my grandson William Temple 
Franklin. I give him also my Chinese gong. To my dear 
old friend, Mrs. Mary Hewson, I give one of my silver tank- 
ards marked for her use during her lif e, and after her decease 
I give it to her daughter Eliza. I give to her son, William 
Hewson, who is my godson, my new quarto Bible, Oxford 
edition, to be for his family Bible, and also the botanic de- 
scription of the plants in the Emperor's garden at Vienna, in 
folio, with coloured cuts. 

And to her son, Thomas Hewson, I give a set of Spectators, 
Tatlers, and Guardians handsomely bound. 

There is an error in my will, where the bond of William 
Temple Franklin is mentioned as being four thousand pounds 
sterling, whereas it is but for three thousand five hundred 


I give to my executors, to be divided equally among those 
that act, the sum of sixty pounds sterling, as some compensa- 
tion for their trouble in the execution of my will; and I 
request my friend, Mr. Duffield, to accept moreover my 
French wayweiser, a piece of clockwork in Brass, to 
be fixed to the wheel of any carriage; and that my 
friend, Mr. Hill, may also accept my silver cream pot, 
formerly given to me by the good Doctor Fothergill, with 
the motto, Keep bright the Chain. My reflecting telescope, 
made by Short, which was formerly Mr. Canton's, I give 
to my friend, Mr. David Rittenhouse, for the use of his 

My picture, drawn by Martin, in 1767, 1 give to the Supreme 
Executive Council of Pennsylvania, if they shall be pleased 
to do me the honour of accepting it and placing it in their 
chamber. Since my will was made I have bought some more 
city lots, near the centre part of the estate of Joseph Dean. 
I would have them go with the other lots, disposed of in my 
will, and I do give the same to my Son-in-law, Richard Bache, 
to his heirs and assigns forever. 

In addition to the annuity left to my sister in my will, 
of fifty pounds sterling during her life, I now add thereto 
ten pounds sterling more, in order to make the Sum sixty 
pounds. I give twenty guineas to my good friend and physi- 
cian, Dr. John Jones. 

With regard to the separate bequests made to my daughter 
Sarah in my will, my intention is, that the same shall be for 
her sole and separate use, notwithstanding her coverture, or 
whether she be covert or sole ; and I do give my executors so 
much right and power therein as may be necessary to render 
my intention effectual in that respect only. This provision. 


for my daughter is not made out of any disrespect I have for 
her husband. 

And lastly, it is my desire that this, my present codicil, be 
annexed to, and considered as part of, my last will and testa- 
ment to all intents and purposes. 

In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand 
and Seal this twenty-third day of June, Anno 
[SEAL.] Domini one thousand Seven hundred and eighty 


Signed, sealed, published, and declared by the above 
named Benjamin Franklin to be a codicil to his last will and 
testament, in the presence of us. 








No. VOL. 



981 April 3 1779 VII 


1332 June 24 1782 VIII 458 

984 April 8 


991 April 21 



996 April 24 
1006 May 10 
1022 June 5 



1263 Dec. 15 1781 VIII 346 
1773 Oct. 26 1789 X 45 

noa April 21 1780 VIII 
1153 Oct. 2 



1154 Oct. 8 


481 [Aug. 9 1768] V 156 

1162 Nov. 13 


. . . Oct. 15 1773 X 278 

1167 Nov. 30 


1188 Feb. 22 1781 



1198 April 7 



1201 April 29 
1207 May ii 

2 4 I 
2 4 8 

835 April 7 1777 VII 40 

1214 May 19 



1219 June ii 


1222 June 30 


See Abbes Chalut and Arnaud. 

1234 Aug. 6 


1248 Oct. 12 



1257 Nov. 26 
1259 Dec. 6 



1646 July 9 1786 IX 526 

1262 Dec. 14 
1265 Dec. 17 



1272 Jan. ii 1782 


1050 Oct. 20 1779 VII 403 

1285 Feb. 12 


1298 March 31 



1315 April 13 
April 20 


1490 [March 20 1784] DC 183 

April 20 
1318 April 21 



1319 April 22 


572 Jan. 13 1772 V 361 

May 8 


June 2 



1366 Oct. 15 
1387 Tan. 19 1783 IX 
1492 March 31 1784 


1030 Aug 19 1779 VII 368 
1280 Jan. 25 1782 VIII 372 

1520 Aug. 6 
1686 May 18 1787 



610 Oct. 7 1772 V 441 


723 Feb. 17 1774 VI 193 

992 April 21 1779 VII 


754 Sept. 30 248 
837 April 14 1777 VII 43 


1016 June 2 1779 343 

1017 J une 2 344 

877 March 2 1778 VII 


1243 Sept. 13 1781 VIII 304 

See also Thomas Gushing and others. 

1540 Nov. ii 1784 IX. 278 

5 I2 




885 March 31 I 77 VII 126 

1565 May 10 1785 I x 3 2 7 


382 Nov. 8 1764 IV 286 

578 Jan. 29 1772 370 

658 April 6 1773 VI 3* 

1018 Tune 3 ^79 VII 346 

1476 Jan. 26 1784 IX 161 


806 April 16 1778 VII 141 

1667 Nov. 26 1786 DC 550 


1357 Sept. 9 1782 VIII 592 

1428 July 27 1783 IX 73 

1433 Aug. 30 79 

1446 Oct. 8 105 

1451 Nov. 21 113 

1452 Dec. i "9 
1456 Dec. 15 125 


1184 Feb. 12 1781 VIII 206 


1286 Feb. 12 1782 VIII 379 

iS73 J une *9 I78S EC 343 


1613 Nov. 14 1785 IX 476 


931 [Nov. 20 1778] VII 201 

934 Nov. 21 202 


1278 Tan. 24 1782 VIII 
1284 Feb. 10 

558 July 
602 Aug. 
611 Oct. 


9 1769 V 


ii 1770 

17 1771 

22 1772 


640 Feb. 10 1773 VI 


294 1760 IV 
703 Sept. 21 1773 VI 











323 July 13 1762 IV 163 

416 May 29 1766 457 

485 Sept. 21 1768 V 165 

696 Aug. ii 1773 VI 112 

734 March 20 1774 220 

1060 Nov. 19 i779 VII 417 

1187 Feb. 19 1781 VIII 211 


1007 May 17 1779 VII 315 


662 April 9 1773 VI 36 


601 Aug. 22 1772 V 43 1 

641 Feb. 10 1773 VI 9 

688 July 14 102 


357 Jan. ii 1764 IV 214 


1063 Dec. 22 1779 VII 420 


453 Jan. 31 1768 V 93 


1662 Nov. 2 1786 DC 545 


1255 Nov. ai 1781 VIII 329 


581 Feb. 5 1772 V 384 

1090 March 16 1780 VIII 37 


911 June 24 1778 VII 163 


1434 Aug. 31 1783 DC 86 

. . . Sept. 10 X 397 

1440 Sept. 13 DC 96 

1442 Sept. 27 101 

1450 Nov. i no 

1467 Dec. 26 146 


. . . Without date X 453 


246 April 14 1757 III 382 

372 Aug. 16 1764 IV 252 

377 Sept. 30 267 





No. VOL. F 



792 Dec. 12 1775 VI 

43 6 

1250 Oct. 15 1781 VIII 319 



121 Sept. 5 1751 III 


1727 June i 1788 IX 655 

130 Jan. 24 1752 
150 Feb. 28 1753 




152 April 12 
162 Oct. 18 


1036 Sept. 19 1779 VII 375 
1037 See Note 376 

173 Dec. 13 
272 Dec. 2 1758 


1136 June 30 1780 VIII 115 

506 July 13 1769 V 
540 Feb. 5 1771 
571 Jan. 13 1772 


1558 April 28 1785 IX 307 

767 Feb. 25 1775 VI 
1616 Jan. r 1786 IX 



1726 May 31 1788 


1575 June 20 1785 IX 346 



775 May 16 1775 VI 


1322 April 26 1782 VIII 435 



1542 Nov. 22 1784 IX 




1510 June 5 1784 IX 221 

1043 Oct. 2 1779 VII 



1579 July 4 1785 IX 


361 March 14 1764 IV 218 


394 May 29 1765 370 

1058 Nov. 10 1779 VII 
. . . [April 1781] X 


439 Aug. 25 1767 V 45 
445 Nov. 27 [1767] 69 

1268 Dec. 25 1781 VIII 



1494 March 31 1784 IX 
1720 April 19 1788 
Without date X 

A 9 ' 

1652 Aug. 10 1786 IX 533 
I 73 June 10 1788 660 




iioo March 31 1780 VIII 51 


1126 June 17 98 


1182 Jan. 27 1781 203 


1199 April 12 236 


1237 Aug. 24 294 


1277 Jan. 23 1782 367 


1458 Dec. 15 1783 IX 126 



1536 Oct. ii 1784 274 


1554 March 22 1785 301 

713 Nov. 7 1773 VI 




1013 Tune 2 1779 VII 337 

1398 March 17 1783 IX 


1760 May 25 1789 X 7 




1183 Jan. 28 1781 VIII 205 

1706 Nov. 19 .1787 DC 


1566 May 16 1785 LX 328 



697 Aug. 21 1773 VI 


1677 April 17 1787 LX 569 

VOL. X 2L 





No. VOL. 
40 Nov. 4 1743 II 


X733 Sept. 20 1788 IX 664 

44 April 5 i744 
49 Aug. 15 1745 ~ 



51 Nov. 28 
64 No date 1747 


9x7 July 24 1778 VII 181 

65 Aug. 6 


68 Oct. i 



71 Nov. 27 


452 Jan. 31 i? 68 V 92 

74 Jan. 27 1748 
78 Sept. 29 



106 Tune 28 1750 III 
115 No date 1751 


973 March 19 i?79 VII 265 

135 April 23 1752 


136 May 14 



I43 Sept. 14 


238 Feb. i 1757 HI 3 6 7 

148 Jan. i 1753 
163 Oct. 25 



172 Dec. 6 
177 Aug. 30 1754 


1471 Jan. 6 1784 IX 152 



1719 April 12 1788 IX 


1305 April 6 1782 VIII 415 

1676 April 17 1787 LX 567 



492 1768 or 1769 [Date 
uncertain] V 


1005 May 10 1779 VII 313 

1606 Oct. 20 1785 IX 469 
1660 Oct. 7 1786 542 


1704 Oct. 22 1787 620 

59 March 28 1747 II 


60 July ii 



66 Aug. 14 


1774 Oct. 31 1789 X 46 
1785 Nov. 14 1789 70 

67 Sept. i 
79 Oct. 1 8 1748 
93 April 29 1749 

39 6 


94 1749 
95 July 27 1750 



1659 Oct. 7 1786 IX 541 

96 July 29 


99 I 75(^) 



ioo 1750 


1605 Oct. i 1785 EX 468 

119 May 21 1751 III 


1683 May 8 1787 580 
1748 Nov. 19 1788 682 
1793 March 10 1790 X 86 

144 Oct. 19 1752 
159 June 26 1753 
161 Sept. 
167 Nov. 23 



174 April 18 1754 


180 Dec. 29 


166 Nov. 8 1753 III 169 

187 June 26 1755 



190 Aug. 25 
191 Aug. 27 1755 


1615 Tan. i 1786 IX 477 

229 Nov. 5 1756 


1732 July 10 1788 66^ 

231 Nov. 22 

35 1 

232 Dec. 19 



236 Jan. 31 1757 


1653 Aug. 12 1786 IX 534 

333 Dec. 7 1762 IV 
365 April 12 1764 




366 April 30 
375 Sept. 24 


670 June 2 1773 VI 54 

433 July 13 J ?67 V 







1052 Oct. 21 1779 VII 405 

497 Feb. 24 1769 V 196 

500 April 27 203 


512 Sept. 30 231 

800 May 27 1776 VI 448 

522 April 14 1770 254 
525 June 8 259 


537 Dec. 30 285 
541 Feb. 5 1771 298 
570 Tan. 13 1772 354 
682 July 7 1773 VI 89 

1048 Oct 17 1779 VII 398 

693 July 25 107 
731 Feb. 25 1774 203 


843 May i 1777 VII 55 
1054 Oct. 27 1777 407 
1091 March 16 1780 VIII 38 

550 May 15 1771 V 317 

1171 Dec. 2 182 

568 Jan. 13 1772 350 

i2ii May 15 1781 256 

June 28 1782 558 


1383 Dec. 26 1782 648 


1466 Dec. 26 1783 DC 144 

466 March 13 1768 V 118 


467 April 16 120 



861 Dec. 29 1777 VII 79 

1021 June 4 1779 353 

943 Tan. 15 1779 VII 218 

1008 May 26 317 



1206 May 7 1781 VIII 246 



504 July 9 1769 V 220 

1031 Aug. 19 1779 VU 369 




813 Dec. 8 1776 VI 476 
816 Jan. 4 1777 VII 9 

1238 Sept. 2 1781 VHI 297 
1245 Sept. 21 307 


1468 1783 IX 147 
1716 Feb. 16 1788 636 

735 March 20 1774 VI 221 


854 Oct. 12 1777 VII 67 

1580 July 5 1785 IX 353 



974 March 25 1779 VII 266 

1459 Dec. 15 1783 IX 128 



1061 Nov. 22 1779 VII 418 

437 Aug. 5 1767 V 39 

1283 Feb. 6 1782 VIII 375 



486 Oct. 21 [1768] V 166 

660 April 6 1773 VI 34 
742 July 22 1774 233 



305 Oct. 21 1761 IV 116 

858 Dec. ii 1777 VII 76 


1161 Nov. 7 1780 VIII 165 

See Joseph Wharton, etc. 

5 i6 





No. VOL. 


536 Dec. 24 i77<> V 283 

1724 May 7 1788 IX 


539 Feb. 5 '77' 292 
553 June 10 321 


573 Jan. 13 1772 363 
585 AprU 13 391 

648 Feb. 14 1773 VI 


604 Sept. 3 435 


616 Nov. 4 448 

617 Dec. 2 448 

589 May 29 177(2] V 


636 Jan. 5 1773 VI i 

651 March 9 21 


656 April 3 29 
668 May 6 48 

810 Dec. 4 1776 VI 


671 June 2 55 
672 June 4 56 


679 July 7 73 

664 April n 1773 VI 


680 July 7 81 

694 July 25 109 


698 Aug. 24 114 
702 Sept. 12 124 

See under MM. Hills. 

705 Sept. 23 137 
709 Nov. i 147 
715 Tan. 5 1774 172 
722 Feb. 15 182 
736 March 22 223 


737 April 2 224 

i 121 June 7 1780 VIII 


739 April 16 228 

741 Tune i 231 


746 July 27 238 
747 Sept. 3 238 

1420 June 14 1783 IX 


751 Sept. 15 244 
753 Sept. 27 247 


755 Oct. 6 249 

278 Jan. 3 1760 IV 


756 Oct. 10 251 

309 Jan- 3I 1762 


764 Jan. 28 1775 301 

355 Dec. n 1763 


395 June 2 1765 



566 Jan. n 1772 V 


720 Feb. 2 1774 VI 178 
842 May i 1777 VII 54 
874 Feb. 27 1778 no 

1401 March 23 1783 IX 




188 June 29 1755 III 269 

1132 June 25 1780 VIII 


454 Jan. 31 1768 94 
511 Sept. 23 1769 V 230 


666 No date 
See Note VI 44 

478 July 25 1768 V 
510 Sept. 22 1769 


533 Oct. 2 1770 



618 Dec. 8 1772 


1196 April 7 1781 VIII 232 

624 Dec. 26 





652 March 10 1773 VI 


691 July 25 1773 VI 105 

653 March 10 


665 [April] 1773 



667 May 4 1773 
669 June i 


Aug. 21 1773 VI 281 

675 June 29 


[1775] 380 

811 Dec. 4 1776 


March 1775 397 

1028 Aug. 13 1779 VII 








907 [June ii 1778] VII 160 

1611 Nov. 5 1785 IX 474 
1709 Dec. 16 1787 625 

DUMAS, C. W. F. 


477 July 25 1768 V 150 
791 Dec. 9 1775 VI 43 2 
894 April 10 1778 VII 138 
924 [Sept. 22 1778] 189 
951 Feb. 19 1779 231 

61 July 16 1747 II 310 
91 Date uncertain 
See Note 383 
103 Feb. 13 1750 III i 

971 March 18 262 

113 Oct. 25 30 

1072 Tan. 27 1780 VIII 3 
1098 March 29 49 

122 Sept. 12 1751 52 
126 Dec. 10 58 

1099 March 30 50 

127 Dec. 24 60 

1104 April 23 60 

i 3I Feb. 4 1752 77 

1118 June 5 81 

151 April 12 1753 12 3 

1129 June 32 105 

154 May 3 128 

1142 July 26 121 

192 Aug. 31 1755 279 

1151 Oct. 2 141 

193 Sept. i 281 

1156 Oct. 9 15 
1172 Dec. 3 183 


1178 Jan. 18 1781 195 
1197 April 7 235 
1205 May 4 245 
1235 Aug. 6 292 

See J. Rocquette and Brothers 

1236 Aug. 10 293 

See under MM. Hills. 

1253 Nov. 8 328 

1266 Dec. 19 348 


1324 May 3 1782 447 
1392 Feb. 17 1783 IX 15 

710 Nov. 3 1773 VI 149 

1477 Feb. i 1784 168 



1034 Aug. 27 1779 VH 371 

480 July 28 1768 V 155 
534 Oct. 2 1770 281 


591 June 15 1772 405 

1675 April 15 1787 X 566 

594 Aug. 12 409 
1729 June 9 1788 IX 658 


1739 Oct. 24 671 

415 May 9 1766 IV 455 


429 May 5 1767 V 24 
457 Feb. 20 1768 101 

1261 Dec. 13 1781 VIU 339 

509 Sept. 7 1769 226 

531 Aug. 27 1770 271 


542 Feb. 10 1771 304 

1755 1788 IX 698 
1794 March 23 1790 X 87 

556 July 4 331 
559 July 18 335 
582 Feb. 6 1772 388 


Evening Herald, To THE PRINTER 

393 May 20 [1765] IV 367 


1710 IX 627 



[On the Abuse of the Press.] 

530 Aug. 27 1770 V 270 

1718 March 30 1788 IX 639 



1423 Tune 1 8 1783 IX 54 
1430 July 28 77 

1746 Nov. 10 1788 IX 680 

1669 Dec. 16 1786 552 

5 i8 




268 Sept. 6 1758 III 451 

No. TV 
1384 Jan. ii i7 8 3 1A 
1702 Oct. 14 1787 


281 Mar. 5 1760 IV 9 
288 June 27 22 
295 1760 88 


303 Sept. 14 1761 no 
315 March 24 1762 150 

I0 s6 Oct. 28 1779 VII 


347 June 16 1763 202 


383 Dec. 9 1764 288 
384 Dec. 27 288 

1735 Oct. 23 1788 IX 


388 Feb. 9 1765 358 

389 Feb. 14 359 


1078 Feb. 26 1780 VIII 
ma [May 1780] 



397 June 4 382 
402 July 13 39 1 
407 Feb. 22 1766 408 
408 Feb. 27 409 


412 April 6 449 
417 June 13 459 

Without date X 


422 Oct. ii 464 

432 June 22 1767 V 31 


436 Aug. 5 37 

362 March 14 1764 IV 
1128 June 19 1780 VIII 


455 Feb. 13 1768 95 
488 Oct. 5 178 
491 Dec. 21 182 


527 June 10 1770 264 

535 Oct. 3 282 

nos May 4 i?8o VIII 


. . . May i 1771 X 287 


552 June 5 1771 V 321 
561 Aug. 14 338 

May 10 1782 VIII 
1435 Sept. 5 1783 IX 


576 Tan. 28 1772 372 
588 May 5 396 

593 I ul 7 14 4o8 


620 Dec. i 457 

580 Feb. 4 1772 V 
689 July 14 1773 VI 
726 Feb. 18 1774 


I 9 7 

637 Jan. 6 1773 VI 4 
639 Feb. 2 7 
647 Feb. 14 16 
678 July 6 73 


700 Sept. i xi8 
740 April 28 1774 230 

87 Sept. 7 1749 II 


743 July 22 234 

88 Oct. 16 


104 April 12 1750 III 




See Mrs. Jane Mecom. 

209 Dec. 27 1755 III 



211 Jan. 15 1756 
212 Jan. 25 

3 a 3 


48 [March 10] 1745 II 283 

214 Van. 30 
215 'fan. 31 
219 Mar. 21 



63 Aug. 6 1747 
See Note 316 
147 Dec. 8 1752 III 103 

220 Mar. 30 
230 Nov. 13 
243 April 5 1757 
249 April 29 



251 May 27 


1638 June ii 1786 IX 515 

254 June 2 


257 July 27 



258 Nov. 22 
261 Jan. 14 1758 
262 Jan. 21 
263 Feb. 19 



29 April 13 1738 II 214 

265 June 10 


47 Sept. 6 1744 II 281 






( AGK 



Aug. 26 1766 IV 


862 [1777] VII 80 




May 7 1760 IV 
See Note 1762 


1 86 

1053 Oct. 25 1779 VII 406 


See Note V 




114 Dec. 25 1750 III 32 


Suly 17 1767 V 
une 8 1770 




uly 12 1771 


790 Oct. 3 1775 VI 43 


an. 13 1772 



uly 7 J773 




430 June 13 1767 V 25 

See Mrs. Sarah Bache. 

438 Aug. 8 40 

446 Dec. i 71 


451 J an - 9 1768 90 
456 Feb. 17 97 

1 60 

July 23 1753 III 


464 March 13 in 


Aug. 28 1767 V 


473 May 14 134 


Nov. 25 


476 July 3 148 


Dec. 19 1767 


603 Aug. 22 1772 433 


Tan. 9 1768 


621 Dec. a 458 


March 13 
April 16 



638 Jan. 6 1773 VI 5 
649 Feb. 14 1 8 


July 2 


659 April 6 33 


April 20 1771 


711 Nov. 3 151 


Jan. 30 1772 


724 Feb. 18 1774 194 


Aug. 17 


757 Oct. 12 252 


Aug. 19 


768 Feb. 25 1775 311 


Aug. 19 



Nov. 3 




Dec. a 
Feb. 14 1773 VI 



See Mason Weems and Edward Gant. 


April 6 
July 14 




Aug. 3 


345 April 14 1757 HI 381 


Sept. i 



Oct. 6 



vO 00 vr 

1-1 M M 
>. !-. t> 

Nov. 3 
Jan. 5 1774 
Feb. 2 
Feb. 18 


1745 Oct. a6 1788 IX 679 

June 30 X 


803 Aug. a8 1776 VI 451 


Sept. 7 VI 


ion June a 1779 VII 333 


May 7 1775 


1083 March 5 1780 VIII 27 


Aug. 16 1784 IX 




Jan. 2 1766 IV 395 


June 13 1775 VI 


'[an. 14 397 


Sept. 19 1776 


Tan. 15 398 


Sept. 22 1776 


463 March 8 1768 V no 


Nov. 26 1778 VII 



Oct. 23 1781 VIII 



I 53 2 

Aug. 25 1784 IX 
Sept. 8 


827 Feb. 7 1777 VII 22 


Sept. 13 




Oct. 2 



Oct. 18 


1025 July 5 1779 VII 362 





914 July 3 1778 VII i?3 

195 Sept. ii 1755 III 285 

avc Oct 14 1 9 

95 \-f^*-> *Q 
030 Nov. 3 


1592 July *5 1785 IX 368 

1608 Oct. 20 471 

812 Dec. 8 1776 VI 473 
819 Jan. 20 1777 VII 12 

1619 Tan. 29 1786 482 

1208 May 14 1781 VIII 249 

1624 March 5 49 2 

1246 Sept. 21 308 

1627 March 20 497 
1648 July n S27 

See also Thomas Gushing and others. 

1655 Aug. 15 530 
1681 April 22 1787 575 


1703 Oct. 22 619 

608 Sept. 26 1772 V 438 

1742 Oct. 24 1788 677 

1155 Oct. 8 1780 VIII 148 

1 202 Date 


uncertain 1781 242 

See Van Berckel, E. P. 

1475 Jan. 25 1784 IX 159 



1358 Sept. n 1782 VIII 594 

855 Oct. 14 1777 VII 68 
868 Feb. 12 1778 101 


873 Feb. 26 107 

349 July 19 1763 IV 205 
1020 June 4 1779 VII 351 
1602 Sept. 20 1785 IX 465 

897 No date 143 
903 May 25 155 
908 June 16 sot 
915 July 13 174 


921 Sept. 3 186 
923 Sept. 14 188 

183 March 4 1755 III 245 

927 Oct. 20 192 

194 Sept. ii 282 

929 Oct. 26 194 

197 Oct. 16 288 

936 Nov. 29 203 

228 Aug. 26 1756 344 

944 Jan. 25 1779 219 

242 March 3 1757 378 

948 Feb. 3 226 

337 Jan. 23 1763 IV 188 

952 Feb. 22 232 

350 Aug. i 205 

953 Feb. 23 234 

352 Sept. 5 207 

975 March 21 267 

359 Feb. 15 1764 215 

1003 May 4 309 

875 Feb. 28 1778 VII 112 

1073 Feb. 2 1780 VIII 4 

1307 April 7 1782 VIII 419 

1223 June 30 1781 273 

1757 March 2 1789 X 3 

1264 Dec. 15 346 


1273 Jan. 15 1782 358 
1287 Feb. 16 381 

May 31 1782 VIII 520 

1299 March 31 408 
1304 April 5 413 

See Joseph Wharton, etc. 

1314 April 13 427 
1316 April 14 429 
May 13 500 


1337 July 10 563 
1361 Sept. 17 596 

1092 March 16 1780 VIII 39 

1402 March 23 1783 IX 26 

1751 Nov. 29 1788 IX 686 

1413 May 8 40 

1436 Sept. 6 87 


1447 Oct. 16 107 

1723 May 4 1788 IX 648 
1737 Oct. 23 669 

1449 Oct. 22 109 
1472 Jan. 7 1784 154 
1497 April 17 196 


1509 Tune 2 219 
1546 Jan. 3 1785 284 

374 April 8 1759 III 473 

1582 July 5 359 

391 Feb. 14 1765 IV 363 

1609 Oct. 27 472 

482 Aug. 9 1768 V 159 

1786 Dec. 4 1789 X 7 








523 May 31 1770 V 255 

May 8 1772 X 


529 July 24 268 

565 Nov. 25 1771 345 


782 July 8 1775 VI 410 


Dec. 26 1783 IX 


817 Jan. 12 1777 VII 10 

822 Jan. 26 15 


1313 April 13 1782 VIII 426 


April ii 1757 III 


1327 June 45 
1330 June 13 455 


1350 Aug. 17 585 
1390 Jan. 27 1783 IX ii 

See under Henry Royle. 

1408 April 26 36 

1437 Sept. 7 89 


1465 Dec. 26 143 


June 7 1759 III 


1487 March 19 1784 181 
1521 Aug. 15 251 


1561 May 5 1785 322 

See under Henry Royle. 

1577 June 26 351 
1578 July 4 352 


1594 July 26 370 
1610 Oct. 30 473 



1635 May 6 1786 510 

date i?78(?) VH 


1636 May 30 513 

Without date X 



July 19 1785 IX 
July 27 
Oct. 20 


520 March 17 1770 V 250 


April 23 1788 
Oct. 25 






Feb. 26 1779 VH 


960 March n 1779 VII 243 




May 1 8 1787 IX 


See under Thomas Thompson. 




May 4 *759 HI 
May i 1760 IV 


1071 Jan. 20 1780 VIII i 


May 17 


1195 April i 1781 231 


June ii 


1300 March 31 1782 408 


Sept. 13 
March 30 1761 


1326 May 27 449 
1455 Dec. 10 1783 IX 124 


Aug. 10 



[Sept. 20 1761] 




Oct. 29 
March 8 1762 



1055 Oct. 28 1779 VLI 409 
1591 July 25 1785 IX 367 


March 22 



June 7 




Aug. ii 
March 25 1763 


1445 Oct. 5 1783 IX 103 


June 10 

20 1 


March 14 1764 




June 17 1767 V 
Sept. 14 


1019 June 4 1779 VII 350 
1086 March 6 1780 VIII 31 


Oct. 28 1768 
June 27 1769 
Sept. 2 


1244 Sept. 13 1781 306 
1382 Dec. 24 1782 647 


Sat. evening 
past ten [1769] 
Jan. 22 1770 


218 March i 1756 III 330 

5 22 




No, VOL. 


[Feb. 1788] X 

44 8 

707 Sept. 30 1773 VI 
733 March 18 1774 



840 [April 26 1777] VII 


865 Aug. 1777 


Feb. 20 1775 VI 


1247 Oct. 2 1781 VIII 


July 30 1776 


1414 May 16 1783 IX 


Sept. 8 
1535 Aug. 18 1784 IX 


1473 J an - l6 J 7 8 4 
1559 April 29 1785 


1598 Aug. 28 1785 



1641 June 27 1786 


See Partridge, Mrs. Elizabeth. 

1715 Feb. ii 1788 
1738 Oct. 24 




264 April 28 1758 III 


335 Dec. n 1762 IV 




158 June 6 1753 III 


866 Tan. 29 1778 VII 



883 March 30 
942 Jan. 4 1779 


280 Jan. 7 1760 IV 
403 Aug. 9 1765 




156 May 5 1753 III 


291 Sept. 27 1760 IV 



310 Jan. 24 1762 


1221 June 28 1781 VIII 


318 May 19 


1225 July 5 


1226 July 5 

2 75 


1227 July 6 



199 Oct. 16 1755 III 


1229 July 10 


1664 Nov. 24 1786 IX 




622 Dec. 2 1772 V 


1082 March 4 1780 VIII 
mo May 22 
1113 May 31 
1114 June i 

6 9 


642 Feb. 10 1773 VI 10 
654 March 15 27 

1140 July 10 


690 July 14 


1144 Aug. 9 
1169 Dec. 2 




1173 Dec. 3 


1015 June 2 1779 VII 


1193 March 12 1781 


1044 Oct. 4 


1210 May 14 


i loi April 7 1780 VIII 


1218 June ii 
1230 July ii 
1241 Sept. 13 


1123 June 13 
1152 Oct. 2 
1181 Jan. 27 1781 





1200 April 12 
1224 June 30 


605 Sept. 6 1772 V 


1274 Jan. 15 1782 
1276 Jan. 19 

3 6 4 


1293 March 16 
1320 April 22 


867 Feb. i 1778 VII 


1321 April 24 


Feb. 12 


1353 Sept. 4 


882 March 24 


1438 Sept. 10 1783 IX 

9 1 

909 Tune 23 


1470 Jan. 6 1784 


1335 July 7 1782 VIII 


1548 Feb. 8 1785 



5 2 3 



1563 May 10 1785 IX 

1600 Sept. 19 

1645 July 6 1786 

1656 Aug. 24 

1731 June 27 1788 


1506 May 13 1784 IX 
1603 Sept. 21 1785 


1543 Nov. 23 1784 IX 

1628 March 20 1786 

1680 April 19 1787 

1796 April 8 1790 X 

1242 Sept. 13 1781 VIII 


See under John Franklin, William 
Hooker Smith, etc. 

847 July 22 1777 VII 


968 March 17 1779 VII 
983 April 8 
1064 Dec. 29 

See Joseph Wharton, etc. 


108 Aug. 9 1750 III 

109 Aug. 23 
no Sept. 13 
in Oct. 25 
128 Dec. 24 1751 
139 July 3 1752 


198 Oct. 16 1755 III 
419 Sept. 12 1766 IV 

643 Feb. 10 1773 VI 


. . . Tan. 7 1782 X 363 

1279 Jan. 25 1782 VIII 371 


904 May 27 1778 VII 

905 Tune i 

906 June 10 
922 Sept. 6 



3 2 5 

964 March 14 1779 VII 253 


997 April 27 296 


1027 July 8 364 


1046 Oct. 15 395 


1062 Dec. 6 419 

1077 Feb. 19 1780 VIII 14 


1080 March i 18 

1087 March 8 32 


1093 March 18 40 

*r wv 

1115 Jane i 78 

1 122 June 12 90 

1125 June 17 97 


1133 June 27 in 


1137 July 5 116 


1147 Aug. 12 136 


1166 Nov. 25 176 

1174 Dec. 9 188 


1482 March 4 1784 IX 174 


1585 July 9 1785 362 
1694 July 22 1787 604 



555 July 3 i77i V 330 

584 April 2 1772 390 



1400 March 17 1783 IX 24 




1684 May 1 8 1787 IX 582 




1107 May 16 1780 VIII 65 





279 Tan. 3 1760 IV 3 


283 May 3 n 


292 Sept. 27 85 


308 Nov. 1761 120 

328 Aug. 17 1762 174 

396 June 2 1765 373 


427 April ii 1767 V 16 


462 Feb. 28 1768 107 

493 Jan. i 1769 187 
496 Feb. 21 194 



132 March 2 1752 III 78 


133 March 16 79 
312 Feb. 20 1762 IV 131 



See under Samuel Tucker and others. 




1761 May 25 1789 X 7 




jjo. VOL. PAGE 


1488 March 19 1784 IX 181 

1213 May 17 1781 VIII 259 



976 March 22 1779 VII 269 

1269 Dec. 29 1781 VIII 352 

1029 Aug. 19 3 6 


1032 Aug. 24 37 

1042 Oct. i 3 8 

1736 Oct. 23 1788 IX 667 

1081 March 2 1780 VIII 20 

1209 May 14 1781 250 


1336 July 9 1782 563 

831 March 21 1777 VII 31 

1343 July 24 57 1 
1360 Sept. 17 595 
1678 April 17 1787 IX 569 

870 Feb. 23 1778 105 
881 March 17 121 
889 April i 129 

891 April 3 132 


892 April 4 132 

1085 March 5 1780 VIII 29 

893 April 6 137 
902 May 17 154 


941 Jan. 3 1779 215 
961 March 13 245 

985 April 8 1779 VII 281 

962 March 13 246 

1047 Oct. 15 397 

977 March 27 271 

1088 March 12 1780 VIII 33 

978 March 27 273 

1120 June 7 85 

982 April 3 278 

998 May 3 300 


1041 Sept. 30 379 

1701 Oct. 14 1787 LX 617 



See Samuel Osgood and Arthur Lee. 

1068 No date VII 434 


937 Dec. 7 1778 204 
1631 April 1786 IX 502 

793 Feb. n 1776 VI 438 
794 Feb. 19 440 

1663 Nov. 20 546 



1549 Feb. 8 1785 IX 289 

1674 April 15 1787 IX 563 

T 555 April 12 302 

1734 Oct. [22 1788] 665 

1747 Nov. 13 1788 681 



878 March 2 1778 VII 115 
879 March 6 116 

1725 May 31 1788 IX 649 

919 Aug. 13 184 
980 April 2 1779 276 



886 March 31 1778 VII 127 

See Charles Norris and Thomas 

887 March 31 128 

Leech, and Robert Morris and Thomas 

1311 April 12 1782 VIII 423 


April 20 475 


May 25 505 
1334 July 2 560 

1597 Aug. 1785 IX 372 

1425 July 6 1783 IX 58 
i43 2 Aug. 21 78 


1453 Dec. 6 122 
1478 Feb. 12 1784 169 
1486 March 12 178 

495 Jan. 31 1769 V 192 
586 April 20 1772 393 
655 March 30 [1773] VI 28 

1499 April 29 198 
1504 May 13 2II 

674 June 22 1773 59 
1480 Feb. 25 1784 IX 173 




1630 March 27 1786 IX 501 

1654 Aug. 15 535 

1679 April 18 1787 572 

1744 Oct. 25 1788 679 

1783 Nov. 13 1789 X 68 


[1787] X 454 


1393 March 6 1783 IX 15 

1 595 July 26 1785 371 


1626 March 16 1786 DC 495 

1673 April 15 1787 558 

1717 Feb. 17 1788 636 

1721 April 22 645 

1728 June 8 657 

1740 Oct. 24 673 

1766 Sept. 5 1789 X 34 

1784 Nov. 13 69 


1194 March 17 1781 VIII 223 

1212 May 16 258 


547 April 16 1771 V 312 


839 April 26 1777 VII 45 


1593 July 25 1785 DC 370 


184 March 18 1755 III 252 

247 April 14 1757 383 

267 June 17 1758 446 


834 April 6 1777 VH 38 


459 Feb. 20 1768 V 103 


786 Aug. 29 1775 VI 427 


1282 Jan. 28 1782 VIII 375 

1290 March 4 388 

1292 March 9 397 

1297 March 30 405 


1309 April 8 1782 VIII 420 

1312 April 12 424 

Tune 25 548 

June 28 555 

1348 Aug. 12 576 

1352 Sept. 3 586 

1363 Sept. 26 602 

1365 Oct. 14 614 

1368 Nov. 7 618 

X 373 free- 4 627 

1374 Dec. 5 628 

1381 Dec. 24 645 

1388 Jan. 21 1783 DC 9 

1395 March 7 18 

1406 April 15 30 

1409 April 27 37 

1419 June 12 49 

1426 July 22 59 


See Samuel Osgood and Walter 


looi May 4 1779 VII 304 


946 Jan. 26 1779 VII 

73 [Dec. 4 1747] 



75 Jan. 27 1748 359 

76 Jan. 30 360 

77 April 6 
81 Oct. 30 



1776 Nov. 2 1789 X 49 

London Chronicle, To THE PRINTER 


296 No date 1760 IV 89 

483 Aug. 18 1768 V 160 
502 May 9 1769 206 

London Public Advertiser, To THE 

484 Aug. 25 1768 V 162 
486 Oct. 21 166 

Louis XVI 

1079 [March 1780] VIII 17 


853 Oct. 7 1777 VII 65 

859 Dec. 21 77 

916 July 22 1778 174 

1012 June 2 1779 334 

1040 Sept. 30 378 

1049 Oct. 17 400 

5 26 


No VoL ' 



1089 March 16 1780 VIII 


See Joseph Wharton, etc. 

1 145 Au 8- I0 "*" 

J 3 X 

1170 Dec. 2 




M , REV. 

137 May 21 1752 III 89 

316 March 30 1762 IV 


146 Nov. 14 ioi 
233 Dec. 30 1756 356 


070 March 18 1779 VII 



7 Tan. 6 1727 II 87 


16 June 19 1731 180 

1252 Nov. 5 J 78i VIII 


38 July 28 1743 237 
124 Oct. 24 1751 III 57 


216 Feb. 12 1756 328 

221 J une 28 333 

1014 June 2 1779 VH 


239 Feb. 21 1757 369 


248 April 19 391 
250 May 21 393 

549 April 22 1771 V 
645 Feb. 14 i?73 VI 


253 May 30 402 
271 Sept. 16 1758 458 
501 April 27 1769 V 206 


538 Dec. 30 1770 288 

646 Feb. 14 1773 VI 


567 Jan. 13 1772 348 
650 March 9 1773 VI 21 


683 July 7 93 
752 Sept. 26 1774 246 

1407 April 22 1783 IX 


776 May 26 1775 403 
1587 July 13 1785 DC 363 


1632 April 8 1786 506 

1345 Aug. 5 1782 VIII 


1633 April 25 58 
1637 Tune 3 5*4 


1643 July 4 522 
1658 Sept. 21 539 

592 June 17 1772 V 


1689 May 30 1787 589 

1576 June 26 1785 IX 


1699 Sept. 20 612 

1705 Nov. 4 620 


1707 Dec. ii 623 

518 Feb. 12 1770 V 
1672 March 29 1787 IX 


1750 Nov. 26 1788 684 
1765 Aug. 3 1789 X 33 
1770 Oct. 19 43 


681 July 7 1773 VI 
1502 May 12 1784 IX 


1787 Dec. 17 73 
1795 March 24 1790 91 



See Samuel Tucker and others. 


1586 July 9 1785 IX 



1614 Nov. 18 


1518 July 30 1784 IX 248 



677 July i 1773 VI 


1789 Dec. 21 1789 X 75 



1489 March 19 1784 IX 


1460 Dec. 25 1783 IX 129 

1463 Dec. 26 140 


1464 Dec. 26 145 

05 Date 

1503 May 12 1784 213 

uncertain [i776(?)] VI 


1512 June 16 220 








1163 Nov. 13 1780 VIII 1 68 

832 April 2 1777 VII 36 

1448 Oct. 18 1783 IX 108 



821 Jan. 26 1777 VII 13 

. . . March 15 1780 X 368 

969 March 17 1779 260 




324 July 20 1762 IV 169 
631 Date unknown V 546 

1769 Sept. 2i 1789 X 42 



1780 Nov. 5 1789 X 63 

1039 Sept. 29 1779 VII 377 
See Joseph Wharton, etc. 



1069 No date VII 436 
1682 April 22 1787 IX 577 
1753 Dec. 10 1788 690 

957 Feb. 28 1779 VII 240 
1117 June 4 1780 VIII 80 
1119 June 6 84 



See Abel James and Benjamin Mor- 

1009 May 27 1779 VII 331 


1185 Feb. 12 1781 VIII 206 
1444 Oct. 2 1783 IX 102 

787 Aug. 29 1775 VI 437 
1116 June 3 1780 VIII 79 


1232 July 26 1781 288 

823 Jan. 26 1777 VII 16 

1233 July 26 289 

1240 Sept. 12 299 


1271 Jan. 9 1782 356 
1281 Jan. 28 373 

1239 Sept. 5 1781 VIII 298 

1289 March 4 385 
1291 March 7 395 


1296 March 30 401 

. . . Feb. 4 1774 X 277 

1310 April 8 422 

June 25 553 


1349 Aug. 12 580 
1376 Dec. 14 637 
1380 Dec. 23 644 

1191 March 8 1781 VIII 214 
1260 Dec. 10 338 

1394 March 7 1783 IX 17 
1461 Dec. 25 135 


1775 Nov. 2 1789 X 48 

307 Nov. 17 1761 IV 118 

311 Feb. 13 1762 130 


544 March 5 1771 V 307 



252 May 30 1757 III 397 
269 Sept. 16 1758 454 

213 Jan. 26 1756 III 325 

293 Nov. 19 1760 IV 86 

Feb. 9 1763 X 212 


338 Feb. 15 IV 189 

809 Dec. 4 1776 VI 469 
820 Jan. 26 1777 VII 13 


912 June 1778 VII 164 




1714 Feb. 10 1788 IX 632 


1759 April 27 1789 X 5 

1109 May 18 1780 VIII 69 

S 28 




965 March 14 *779 vn 2 55 

301 May 9 1761 IV 106 



1696 Aug. 31 ^87 IX 606 

423 Nov. 20 1766 IV 466 




629 No date 1771 V 540 

1713 Jan. 31 1788 IX 631 

706 Sept. 25 1773 VI 138 

1515 July 17 1784 IX 236 


June 6 1783 VIII 532 


'[une ii 536 

142 Aug. 13 1752 III 95 

^"une 27 554 

149 Feb. 4 1753 107 

mo '[uly 12 5^7 

A OOV ii. X 

1344 July 28 57i 
I35 5 Sept. 8 591 


1371 Nov. 26 021 
1385 Jan. 14 1783 IX 3 

838 April 22 1777 VII 43 



1130 June 22 1780 VIII 107 

178 Sept. 17 1754 HI 330 
830 March 6 1777 VII 30 


851 Sept. 12 64 

1604 Sept. 27 1785 IX 467 



1661 Oct. 10 1786 IX 543 

117 March 20 1751 III 40 


181 March i 1755 243 

See Thomas Gushing and others. 



See under MM. Hills, etc. 

1418 June 10 1783 IX 47 



206 Dec. 5 1755 III 304 

300 April 23 1761 IV 100 

207 Dec. 15 306 
222 June 28 1756 336 
241 Feb. 22 1757 377 

226 Aug. 19 1756 III 341 


1256 Nov. 23 1781 VIII 330 

217 Feb. 23 1756 III 329 
1045 Oct. ii 1779 VII 393 


1749 Nov. 25 1788 IX 682 

1545 t? 1784] IX 283 



201 Oct. 25 1755 III 292 

435 Aug. i 1767 V 36 


583 Feb. ii 1772 389 
609 Sept. 28 440 

959 March 10 1779 VII 242 

1074 Feb. 6 1780 VIII 8 

966 March 14 255 

1158 Oct. 9 153 

988 April ii 285 

1331 June 13 1782 457 

1441 Sept. 1 6 1783 IX 99 


1523 Aug. 16 1784 254 

See Samuel Tucker and others. 

1547 Feb. i 1785 286 
1553 March 18 300 


1650 July 29 1786 529 
1687 May 18 1787 585 

273 March 19 1759 III 470 

1762 May 31 1789 X 8 





See under Samuel Tucker and others. 

50 Aug. 17 1745 II 289 

82 Dec. 5 1748 369 


203 Nov. 2 1755 III 295 


587 May 4 i77 V 394 


607 Sept. 19 437 
633 See Note 551 

1415 May 22 1783 IX 46 

738 April 10 1774 VI 226 
773 May 16 1775 400 


781 July 7 408 
789 Oct. 3 429 

1094 March 19 1780 VIII 42 
1095 March 19 43 

824 Jan. 27 1777 VII 18 
1075 Feb. 8 1780 VIII 9 


1328 June 7 1782 451 
1528 Aug. 21 1784 IX 266 
1649 July 29 1786 528 

400 July 8 1765 IV 387 
528 June 26 1770 V 265 
543 Feb. 10 1771 305 


717 June 5 1774 VI 175 

933 Nov. 20 1778 VII 201 



See under Joseph Wharton, etc. 

259 Dec. 21 1757 III 425 


260 Tan. 6 1758 427 

818 Jan. 19 1777 VII 11 

330 Dec. i 1762 IV 177 

471 May 10 1768 V 129 


Public Advertiser, PRINTER OF 

1629 March 23 1786 IX 500 

Dec. 25 1773 VI 284 


270 Sept. 16 1758 III 456 


297 Feb. 26 1761 IV 95 

884 March 30 1778 VII 124 

399 July 7 1765 385 
409 Feb. 27 1766 409 



299 April 8 1761 IV 98 
769 Feb. 26 1775 VI 314 

1023 June 13 1779 VII 356 

798 April 15 1776 445 
993 April 22 1779 VII 289 


1439 Sept. ii 1783 IX 93 

1404 April 6 1783 DC 28 



See Mrs. Catherine Green. 

413 April 20 1766 IV 451 



869 Feb. 22 1778 VII 104 

1405 April 15 1783 DC 29 

871 Feb. 24 106 

Ross, JOHN 

872 Feb. 25 107 

888 April i 128 

390 Feb. 14 1765 IV 361 

398 June 8 384 


428 April ii 1767 V 23 
447 Dec. 13 73 
472 May 14 1768 132 

1131 Tune 24 1780 VIII 108 

900 April 26 1778 VII 146 

1192 March n 1781 215 

931 Nov. 5 199 

1294 March 22 1782 399 

1103 April 22 1780 VIII 59 

1354 Sept. 4 590 

/vr v f* \.t 

1712 Jan. 21 1788 DC 630 






See under Henry Royle. 

796 March n 1776 VI 443 


May ii X 296 
799 May 27 VI 447 



1270 Jan. 4 1782 VIII 354 

1035 Sept. 17 1779 VII 372 
1146 Aug. 10 1780 VIII 133 


See Joseph Wharton, etc. 

1590 July 25 1785 IX 366 



1168 Nov. 30 1780 VIII 178 

687 July 14 1773 VI 100 
744 July 22 1774 235 


745 July 25 236 

1519 Aug. 4 1784 IX 249 

1625 March 1786 IX 494 

1612 Nov. 14 1785 475 



1157 Oct. 9 1780 VIII 151 

777 June 2 1775 VI 403 



836 April 9 1777 VII 41 

158! July 5 1785 IX 357 



910 June 23 1778 VII 163 

March 22 1782 VIII 460 

April 1 8 465 


May 10 494 


May 13 496 

1698 Sept. 20 1787 IX 609 

1340 July 12 568 




1758 April 27 1789 X 4 

1301 March 31 1782 VIII 409 



See Mrs. G. Hare-Naylor. 

1584 July 5 1785 IX 360 



554 June 24 1771 V 329 

779 June 27 1775 VI 406 
1391 Jan. 27 1783 IX 13 

560 July 25 337 
1329 June 10 1782 VIII 454 
1399 March 17 1783 IX 22 


1623 Feb. 24 1786 488 

920 Aug. 18 1778 VII 185 


990 April 18 1779 287 
1004 May 8 312 

Nov. 27 1755 X 198 

1076 Feb. 13 1780 VIII 12 
1096 March 20 46 


"35 June 27 113 

179 [Dec. 17 1754] III 231 

[Dec. 18 232 


Dec. 22 238 

979 March 31 1779 VII 274 

200 Oct. 23 1755 290 



See under Henry Royle. 

5 June 2 1725 II 52 











May 12 1760 IV 
July 22 1780 VIII 










Feb. 19 1787 IX 
Sept. 28 

6 I4 



Feb. 17 1789 X 
Nov. 5 
















May 17 1771 V 











2 5 




April 19 1753 HI 



l uly 

2 9 




Nov. 27 








Aug. 22 1772 V 

43 * 





3 6 5 



2 9 


37 2 

See under John Franklin, etc. 














Sept. 22 1782 VIII 


I2 3 





















June 10 1758 III 
















Oct. 20 1779 vn 




















3 1 




June 16 1783 IX 













Jan. 23 1775 VI 















July 17 1775 VI 








Jan. 25 1779 VII 






April 19 1782 VIII 












J r 



See Mrs. Mary Hewson. 















Tan. 13 1772 V 
March 9 1790 X 

3 83 



















Nov. 3 .1772 V 
March 27 1776 VI 





2 9 






April 2 1777 VII 











No. t VOL- 

1526 Aug. 19 *1** 1A 
5^ March 5 1785 ' 


852 Oct. 4 1777 VII 


1544 J 7 84 K 


1574 June 20 1785(7) IX 

To ? 

3 1786 IX 


1642 July 





[Dec. ii 1777] VII 





Nov. 3 !772 V 



Sept. 7 *774 VI 





Jan. 28 1772 V 


9 A C 




Jan. 16 1764 IV 



Sept. 2 




Nov. 6 
Oct. 29 1769 V 



1666 Nov. 25 1786 IX 549 


1708 Dec. 15 1787 IX 624 


!788 Dec. 19 1789 x ? 4 


1791 Jan. 19 1790 x 82 


828 Feb. 8 1777 VII 23 



856 Nov. 25 1777 VII 



May 30 1780 VIII 


Nov. 4 1782 VIII 

See Perreau, Pierre Joseph. 


721 Feb. 12 1774 VI 
728 Feb. 22 
730 Feb. 26 



1 80 



749 Sept. 7 i?74 VI 242 

766 Feb. 14 1775 ~~ 37 








































J 537 




T 539 





























May i 1781 VIII 


May 8 1782 VIII 



1668 Dec. 16 1786 IX 551 


1469 No date 1783 IX 149 

1533 Sept. 12 1784 27? 

1771 Oct. 20 1789 X 43 


895 April 10 1778 VII 141 

210 Jan. 12 1756 III 321 












Dec. 6 1782 VIII 









Dec. 15 









Dec. 17 
Jan. i 8 1783 IX 
Jan. as 



I 5 1 7 





March 9 







J 397 

March 16 








March 34 







May 4 







May 5 







May 5 








May 33 









Tune 3 







July 4 



July 34 





Aug. 16 









Dec. 6 
Dec. 15 




Jan. 17 1784 
Feb. 26 


See Le Veillard. 


March 5 



May 31 




Sept. 3 
May 3 1785 


















July 30 1781 VIII 














Feb. 16 1770 V 







May 4 1779 VII 




















Sept. 6 1773 V 













April 17 1784 IX 












See under MM. Hills, etc. 

















80 1 

Aug. 19 1756 HI 
June 3i 1776 VI 
July 33 







June 13 1777 VII 













June 13 
[Aug.] 17 
Sept. 4 
March 5 1780 VHI 
March 25 
April 2 1782 
April 8 
Sept. 20 1785 IX 
Sept. 16 1789 X 















Jan. 18 1781 VIII 





fo. VOL. PACK 

$fc April 22 1784 IX 1 " 197 

665 Nov. 25 1786 IX 549 

1640 June 18 1786 IX 518 

343 April 13 1763 IV 198 

TOO Dec 26 1789 X 75 

354 Nov. 28 209 


368 May 24 1764 247 
379 Nov. 3 271 

1516 July 18 1784 IX 238 

414 April 28 1766 454 
524 June 6 1770 V 257 


545 March 5 1771 310 

913 July i 1778 VH 166 

615 Nov. 3 1772 447 
685 July 7 1773 VI 95 


556 April 13 1785 IX 303 
562 May 5 324 

. . . Aug. 29 1789 X 159 

567 May 19 329 


583 July 5 36 
617 Jan. 19 1786 480 


618 Jan. 27 481 

1216 June 8 1781 VIII 262 

621 Feb. 12 486 
622 Feb. 16 487 


772 Oct. 26 1789 X 44 

1524 Aug. 17 1784 IX 257 


1148 Aug. 16 1780 VIII 137 

546 March 5 1771 V 311 




788 Sept. 12 1775 VI 428 


826 Feb. 5 1777 VII 21 


860 Dec. 22 78 


876 Feb. 22(?)i778 113 

987 April 8 1779 VII 283 

949 Feb. 13 1779 229 
967 March 16 256 


972 March 19 263 
986 April 8 281 

1124 June 17 1780 VIII 94 

1026 July 8 363 
1106 May 10 1780 VIII 64 


1134 June 27 112 

460 Feb. 20 1768 V 105 

1175 Dec. 27 188 
1179 Jan. 20 1781 197 


1180 Jan. 22 198 

1220 June 15 270 

1527 Aug. 2i 1784 IX 264 

1295 March 23 1782 40 

1569 May 19 1785 33 

1570 May 23 33 

1688 May 18 1787 58 



1550 Feb. 22 1785 IX 290 

86 July 6 1749 II 37 

224 July 2 1756 III 33 
369 June 19 1764 IV 2/1 


334 Dec. 7 1762 IV 18 

371 July 10 1764 IV 250 
474 July 2 1768 V 136 
498 March n 1769 198 

1568 May 19 1785 IX 33 
1695 July 27 1787 60 

692 July 25 1773 VI 106 
844 May i 1777 VII 57 




Nov. 15 1784 IX 






April 10 1773 VI 






June 26 1755 III 
July 3 
July 9 1759 





Nov. 4 1789 X 




May 4 1779 VII 302 


Nov. 21 1751 III 57 

July ii 1752 93 

June 1755 261 

1302 March 31 1782 VIII 410 

1571 June 16 1783 IX 339 


Abercrombie, Gen. James, iii, 429; v, 

Achenwall, German scholar, x, 241. 

Acosta, d', & Co., vii, 279. 

Acworth, Mr., ii, 301, 356. 

Adam, the brothers, architects, i, 127. 

Adams, Charles Francis, i, xv, 42. 

Adams, John, conference with Howe, 
vi, 457, 463, 464; x, 298; succeeds 
Silas Deane, vii, 139, 140; examina- 
tion of Williams' accounts, 271, 272; 
surrenders public papers to B. F., 
274; account of J. Q. Adams, 288 n.; 
coins word Burgoinisscs, 314 n.; re- 
lations to B.F.,viii, 53 ; prize ships, 76; 
communications to de Vergennes, 117, 
118, 123, 124 n., 126, 127, 128; finan- 
cial affairs, 129, 253, 262, 264, 267, 
289, 300,325, 357, 364, 368, 544, 553; 
X, 318; his secretary, viii, 147 n., 239, 
552 ; ix, 101 ; his hostility to B. F., 
viii, 236; his opinion of Colonel Lau- 
rens, 278; advice to William Jack- 
son, 282; in Holland, 292,501, 519, 
549, 550, 582, 638; ix, 129, 177, 249; 
x, 320; assisting Colonel Laurens, viii, 
339. 3545 empowered to treat of 
peace, 360, 408, 467, 495, 509, 631; a 
diligent correspondent, 369; letters 
from, to B. F., 480; x, 317; sign- 
ing the treaty of peace, ix, 8 and n., 
32, 191; his character, 17 and n., 
198; x, 323 and n. ; his opinion of 
France, ix, 61; concerning the fish- 
eries, 91, 92 n., 93 n,; visit to Eng- 
land, ii i ; his calumnies, 146 and 
n. ; commercial treaty with Prussia, 
211 ; liberty of James Hartwell, 276; 
the Barbary affair, 301 ; received at 
British court, 463; boundary dis- 
putes, x, 93; the Hutchinson Let- 
ters, 260; his opinion of B. F., 
297; quoted, iii, 237 n.; x, 299; vi, 
403, 467; vii, 21 n., 184, 185, 219, 
239, 254, 257, 263, 319, 328, 329, 
339, 340; viii, 22, 38, 92, 151, 179, 

183, 184, 196, 197, 2OI, 220, 224, 

234, 302, 338 n., 349, 405, 434, 448, 
475, 476, S4, 5395 ix , i5, 107, 

122, 123, J 34, 147, 356, 268, 273 
and n. 

Adams, Mrs. John, ix, 585 ; description 
of Mme. Helvetius, x, 439. 

Adams, Miss, daughter of John Adams, 
x, 408. 

Adams, John Quincy, i, xii; his mar- 
riage, vii, 259 n., 278 and n.; letter 
to B. F., 288 n. 

Adams, Mrs. John Quincy, vii, 259 n. 

Adams, Matthew (tradesman), i, 239; 
x, 148. 

Adams, Philip (farmer), vi, 193. 

Adams, Samuel, Committee of Cor- 
respondence, v, 317 n.; letter, vi, 
1 80; destroying the tea, vi, 223; 
governor of Massachusetts, viii, 182; 
letter from A. Lee, x, 322. 

Addington, Dr., vii, 151. 

Addison, Joseph, i, 34, 36, 127, 272 n.; 
quoted, 331 ; ii, 91, 391 ; iii, 28, 30 n.; 
x, 10 n., 149. 

Adelaide, Mme., daughter of Louis XV, 

Aepinus, Fr.-Ulrich-Theodore, account 
of the Tourmaline, iii, 481; theory 
of magnetism, iv, 250; quoted, vi, 
25 and n. 

Agrippa, Cornelius, ii, 128. 

Aikenhead, Robert, viii, 288. 

Airey, Sir George, i, xix. 

Alembert, Jean Le Rond d', i, 198; x, 

Alexander the Great, ii, 56; viii, 443. 

Alexander, James, i, 387; ii, 277; iii, 
9 and n.; his experiment to measure 
speed of electricity, 171; letter on 
the Albany Plan of Union, 199 and 
n., 207 n. 

Alexander, Mariamne, vii, 21 n.; x, 
417, 465. 

Alexander, William, impressed with 
B. F.'s carelessness with regard to 
documents, i, 2; iv, 157, 371, 373; v, 
196, 442; vi, 428; vii, 21 n.; his 
opinion of A. Lee, 31 n.; concern- 
ing Lord Selkirk's plate, 250, 253; 
certifies to the interview between 
B. F. and Pulteney, viii, 45, 335 n.; 
concerning the separate treaty with 
Great Britain, 358, 458 and n.; sends 




cardinal birds to Mme. Helvetius, ix, 
503; iv, 202; vi, 444 n.; ix, 139; 

Alison, Rev. Francis, iii, 62, 92; Vice- 
Provost of the Academy in Phila- 
delphia, 126 and n., 127, 281 and n., 


All, Captain, v, 374, 408, 457; vi, 5, 
7, 16, 73, 193; ix , 507; x, 289. 

Allamand, warden of forests of Cor- 
sica, i, 207. 

Allemand, Professor, oil upon water, i, 
64; vi, 161. 

Allen, Andrew, vii, 330. 

Allen, Ethan, ix, 477, 544- 

Allen, Mrs., ix, 486. 

Allen, William (chief justice), i, 294, 
362; iii, 49, 5, J 3 2 . 2 3 ! iv 2 S3, 
279 and n., 283, 332; x, 10, 165, 172; 
charges B. F. with promoting the 
Stamp Act, 219, 220, 226; acknowl- 
edges B. F.'s service, 234 and n., 

Alleyne, John, x, 278. 

Allone, M. d', iv, 23 n. 

Almon, J. (publisher), iii, 231 n.; iv, 
412; v, 466; yiii, 330 and n.; x, 278. 

Alphonso X (king of Spain), ix, 332 
and n. 

Alrihs, Harmanus, x, 162, 165. 

Ambruster, Anthony (German printer), 
iii, 440 and n.; v, 442. 

"Americanus" (pseudonym for B. F.), 
iii, 296 n. 

Amherst, Sir Jeffrey (general), i, 426; 
iv, 202; v, 67, 163. 

Amiel, Mr., vii, 131. 

Amiel, Mrs., vii, 250. 

Amontons, Guillaume (physicist), viii, 

Anderson, Prof. John, i, 82 n.; x, 
203 n. 

Andrews, Samuel, viii, 146 and n. 

Anne, Queen, iv, 101, 234, 239, 329; 
ix, 685. 

Anquetil-Durjerron (orientalist), i, 206. 

Anstey, Christopher (poet), ix, 547 
and n. 

Anspach, Prince of, vii, 57. 

Antes, John (musician), i, 213. 

Antill, Mr., vi, 240. 

Antis, Mr., x, 218. 

Apche'r, Comte d', x, 447. 

Appleton, Dr., of Cambridge, ix, 650 n. 

Aranda, Pedro Pablo Abarca y Bolea, 
Conde d', vii, 9 n., 191, 198; viii, i, 
53 57, *44, 201, 204, 240, 559; ix, 

A 1 7S 1 x> 3I4> 37 5- 
Arbuthnot, John, ii, 395. 

Arbuthnot, Mr., ix, 242; x, 356. 
Arbuthnot, Marriot (admiral), vii, 329. 
Archbishop of Canterbury, refuses to 

ordain Weems and Gant, ix, 238; 

anecdote of Queen Anne and the, 

Archbishop of Paris (1784), ix, 238; 

x, 356. 
Archduchess of Austria, nuptials of, 

i, 212. 

Arendt, Baron d', yiii, 69 and n. 
Ariosto, quoted, vii, 98. 
Aristotle, i, 63; v, 141. 
Arlandes, Marquis d', aeronaut, i, 78; 

ix, 115, 345 n. 
Arlincourt, Ch. Victor Pr6vot, Vicomte 

d', vii, 258, 259 n. 
Ariond, Miss, iv, 194. 
Armit, Mr., ii, 333. 
Arnall, William (political writer), i, 

272 n. 

Arnaud, Abb6 (Francois), ix, 498. 
Arndt, Captain, iii, 325, 326, 330. 
Arnold, Benedict, i, 31; viii, 177, 178 

and n., 235, 250, 251, 311, 393, 632; 

ix, 696; x, in. 
Arnold, E. P., x, 206 n. 
Arnold, Matthew, i, 178. 
Arrenberg, Reinier, i, 146; vii, 35 n., 

82 n.; viii, 3 n., 245 n. 
Arros, Baron d', i, 202; viii, 119, 120 n. 
Artois, Comtesse d', viii, 214 n. 
Arundel, M., soldier, vi, 438. 
Asgill, Sir Charles, viii, 572 and n., 

586 and n. 

Ashbridge, George, iv, 333. 
Ashburner, Walter, v, 36 n., 440 n. ; 

ix, 529 n., 585 n. 

Ashburton, Lord, see John Dunning. 
Aston, Captain, iii, 306, 320, 326. 
Atkins and Martin, iii, 305. 
Auchmuty, Robert, vi, 264; x, 259. 
Auckland, Lord, MSS. at Cambridge, vi, 

458 n. 
Aufrere, Anthony (antiquary), ix, 257 

and n. 

Austin, Benjamin, vii, no n. 
Austin, Jonathan Loring, vii, no n.; 

viii, 146; x, 328. 
Autroche, Baron d', vii, 375. 
Ayen, Due d', i, 99. 


Babcock, Dr. Joshua, iii, 378; vii, 113; 
x, 252. 

Bache, Alexander Dallas, i, 58, 59 and 

Bache, Benjamin Franklin, his child- 
hood, i, 32, 33; v, 339; vi, 410 and 
n., 468; vii. 10, 43, 126, 223, 289, 345 
and n., 346, 348, 369 n.; viii, 304; in- 
structed by Didot, 336 n.; ix, 279; in- 
structed by Pierres, 48 n., 270; his 
character, 89, 268, 273, 323, 328, 351, 



364,471; at college, 474, 481, 492, 

S3 54, 5". 5M, 5i5. 537, 562, 581 
and n. ; in printing business, 644 ; x, 
4; copies Autobiography, 35, 289; 
accompanies B. F. to Paris, 301 n., 
363, 486, 496, 498, 499. 
Bache, Richard, i, 174; marries 
Sarah Franklin, v, 32 n., 38, 39 n., 
178, 184; his English family, 347, 
349, 373; x, 254; his business, v, 
375, 376, 377, 3 80 , 3^7, 396; yi, 

9, 16, 35, 240, 406, 410, 467; vii, 
351 n.; viii, 396; ix, 314, 510; x, 41, 
45, 470, 47i, 494, 495, 496, 501, 5o8, 

Bache, Sarah [nee Franklin Mrs. 
Richard Bache], ii, 180; iii, 4, 89, 
9, 285, 327, 328, 331, 332, 367, 395, 
405, 422, 423, 424, 428, 429, 430, 431, 
43 a 434,435, 43 8 > 439, 443 J iv, 9, 

10, 25, in, 117, 151, 179, 196, 199, 
202, 204, 206, 208, 246, 254, 259, 
288, 358, 360, 361, 391, 409, 449, 
450, 460; v, 33, 34, 37, 3 8 39 and n., 
178, 264, 283; vi, 406, 410; viii, 305; 
ix, 279, 507; x, 157, 219 and n., 
254 n., 479, 490, 494, 496 and n., 

497, 500, 5i, 509- 
Bache, Theophylact, vi, 7. 
Bache, William, viii, 305; ix, 515; 

x, 499. 

Backhaus, German soldier, i, 201. 
Bacon, A., x, 232. 
Bacon, Francis, quoted, x, 62, 332. 
Bacon, Roger, quoted, iv, 456; vii, 311. 
Bailey, Francis, x, 510. 
Bailli, Dr. (member of commission to 

examine into Mesmerism), i, 121; 

ix, 502. 

Baird, Dr., of Philadelphia, i, 301. 
Baird, Henry Carey, iii, 227 n. 
Baker, Sir George, on lead-poisoning, 

v, 101. 

Baker, Sir William, v, 330. 
Baker, William, London merchant, 

iii, 90. 

Balbo, Prospero, vi, 221 n.; vii, 417 n. 
Baldwin, Mrs., ix, 555-556, 615. 
Balfour, Mr., iii, 343. 
Ball, Sir Robert, i, xix. 
Ballendene, Mr., vi, 113. 
Baltimore, Lord, i, 371 n., 436. 
Balzac, Honore de, i, 44 and n., 

173 n - 

Bancroft, Dr. Edward, vii, 15; identi- 
fied with " Edwards," 142 n.; x, 310; 
relations with Deane, vii, 155, 187, 
2 33> 3 5, 2 5 I , 2 53J exchange of 

?nsoners, 268 and n.; assisting Paul 
ones, viii, 19, 54, 116 and n., 313, 
534; ix, 42; F.'s opinion of, 50, 
77, 3 ia , 319, 630; his account of 

F.'s examination, x, 266, 267, 271; 
Lee's opinion of, 321, 370. 

Bancroft, George, i, 6. 

Banks, Mr. (of Georgia), vi, 401. 

Banks, Sir Joseph, i, 9, 71 ; aeronautics, 
77 and n., 78, 79; ix, 85 n., 99, 100, 
JSS, 4795 viii, 109; on Cook's 
voyage, v, 394 and n.; vi, 143 n., 
150, 165; vii, 242 n.; x, 44, 350 n. 

Banks and Solander, their voyage, v, 

Barbe-Marbois, Marquis de, viii, 31; 
ix, 60 and n., 278; viii, 649; x, 42. 

Barbou, Joseph-Gerard, ix, 195 and n. 

Barclay, David, i, 199; negotiations for 
peace, vi, 325, 327, 328, 341, 342, 
344, 353, 359, 37*, 372, 374, 375, 383, 
384, 386, 389, 395; viii, 105 and n., 
206 n; ix, 16; x, 286; quoted, viii, 

Barclay and Sons, David, iii, 476; iv, 
279 and n. 

Barclay, John, ix, 669. 

Barclay, John and Robert, vi, 411. 

Barclay, Robert (the Apologist), viii, 
105 n. 

Barclay, Thomas (consul), viii, 331, 337, 
341, 347, 367 and n., 371, 377, 386, 
387, 402, 403, 404, 423, 548, 578, 5 8 4, 
592, 636, 639, 640; ix, 18, 19, 34, 
68; letter from, 76 n., 123, 137, 158, 
606, 686, 687, 692, 696; x, 348, 351. 

Bard, Dr. John, i, 115, 273; ii, 294 
and n.; iv, 373 and n. 

Bard, Samuel, iv, 373 and n. 

Bariatinski, Prince (Russian ambassa- 
dor), viii, 502, 503, 514. 

Barker, Prof. George F., i, 88 and n. 

Barker, Mrs., v, 37, 441. 

Barker, T., x, 105 n. 

Barletti, Carlo, on electricity, vii, 97; 
viii, 192, 313. 

Barney, Captain, viii, 635, 637, 638, 
640, 644; ix, 32, 50, 55, 56, 58, 59, 
77, 96, 97, "2, 129, 161. 

Barr6, Colonel, i, 64. 

Barrington, Dairies, ix, 273 and n. 

Barrow, Mr. and Mrs., vi, 240; vii, 
24, 26. 

Barry, Captain, viii, 324, 370 n., 386, 

387, 395, 397, 40i. 

Barry, Mrs. Amelia, iv, 361; vi, 230, 
234; viii, 330 and n. 

Bartram, John, i, 15, 84 and n.; ii, 277, 
282, 284, 363, 364, 365; iii, 9, 59, 61 
and n., 63 n., 77, 164, 262, 264, 280, 
281, 366, 405, 431; v, 10, 25, 182, 
242, 260, 261; v, 184, 246 n.; viii, 
30, 104 n.; ix, 314. 

Bartram, Mrs., iv, 383; v, 192, 246, 
335, 433, 444- 

Barwell, Mr., v, 268, 269. 



Barwell, Miss, v, 268, 275; vii, 15. 

Barwell, Mrs., vi, 429- 

Baskerville, John, i, 215; his edition of 
Virgil, iii, 437 n.; iv, 86; his edition 
of Milton, iii, 454 and n.; iv, 87 n.; 
vi, 126. 

Baskett, John (the king's printer), i, 


Bateman, Charles, ii, 246 n. 

Bath, Lord, v, 22. 

Bathurst, Lord and Lady, v, 97 and n. ; 
x, 276. 

Baudeau, Nicolas (physiocrat), v, 409. 

Baxter, Andrew, ii, 317 n., 322. 

Bayard, John, x, 472. 

Bayard, M., ix, 99. 

Baynton, Wharton and Morgan (of 
Philadelphia), viii, 15 n., 94 n. 

Bays, M. de, x, 407. 

Bazeley, Lieutenant, vii, 60 n. 

Beach, Zerah, ix, 611. 

Beardsley, E. Edwards, iii, 12 n., 19 n., 
61 n., or n. 

Beatty, Mr. (chaplain), i, 411; iii, 
328; iv, 23, 151. 

Beaudoin, M., viii, 348. 

Beaufremont [or Bauffremont] (ad- 
miral), iii, 398. 

Beaugeard, M., x, 406. 

Beaumann, Messrs, (of Bordeaux), 
vii, 121. 

Beaumarchais, Caron de, i, 3, 216; 
vii, 175, 181, 265, 383, 391; viii, 129, 
253. 3,86, 404, 409, 43 1 . 479. S8i; 
his Figaro," ix, 305; the lost mill- 
ion, <54, 555 n.; x, 303 n., 305, 321; 
the Ampn^trtte, 325, 326 and n.; 327, 
328 and n., 388, 428. 

Beaumont, M., i, 225; v, 230 and n., 

_ 254, 255. 

Beaumont, M. (an advocate), ix, 159. 

Beccaria, Giambatista, i, 22, 199, 210; 
iii, 269; his experiments, iv, 141, 146, 
457 n.; v, 165 n. 

Becket, T. (bookseller), iv, 32, 258; 
viii, 335. 

Beckford, William, M.P., v, 100. 

Beckwith, Maj.-Gen. John, iv, 212; vii, 

3IS n ' 

Beckwith, Sir Thomas Sydney, vii, 

3*5 n. 
Bedford, Mrs. Jenny (daughter of 

James Parker), letter to B. F., vi, 

35 and n., 36. 
Bedford, Duke of, iv, 82; v, 41, 73 

and n., 89, 90, 143, 149, 252; x, 197, 

Begue de Presle, Achille-Guillaume Le, 

n T U u' 3I ^' ix> 43 and n - 3i5- 
Belcher, Governor (of N.Y.), iv, 105. 
Bell, John (of Antermony), his travels, 
iv, 302. 

Belt, Captain